Mayoral candidate: Brad Harmon

Mayoral candidate Brad Harmon. Photo by Molly Cogburn | The Appalachian

Stephanie Sansoucy

Mayoral candidate Brad Harmon. Photo by Molly Cogburn  |  The Appalachian
When it comes to most decisions, Brad Harmon looks to the wisdom his grandfather taught him when Harmon was a boy.

“To give an example, the man was extremely honest with people, never would lie, he didn’t care who you were,” Harmon said.

Working as a doctor, Harmon’s grandfather helped build both the Appalachian State University and Boone communities during his life, Harmon said.

Mayoral candidate Brad Harmon converses with Bill Parish, the owner of the shop Highway Robbery, about his platform and intentions for Boone if he were to be elected as mayor.  Photo by Molly Cogburn  |  The AppalachianHis grandfather’s love for the community was instilled in Harmon, and this love has inspired Harmon to run for mayor of Boone in the 2013 municipal elections.

Harmon, who manages Harmon’s Dixie Pride Shop on King Street, said he officially decided to run after he heard of the other groups running, he said.

“I knew Andy Ball was running,” Harmon said. “And I didn’t think it was in the right interest of [Boone’s] founding fathers, who I happened to know very well growing up.”

Harmon’s grandfather was one of the few doctors in Watauga County during his life, Harmon said. He grew up knowing many people important to the university and to Boone.

Harmon also learned about sustainability and preservation from his grandfather, which is still important to him. Harmon said that his family owns approximately 150 acres of land on the south side of Boone.

“We don’t allow any type of pesticides or anything like that to come onto our property,” Harmon said. “We believe in preserving it.”

Mayoral candidate Brad Harmon, owner of Harmon's Dixie Pride, takes a group of international teachers, (from left to right) Lungelwa Phakathi of South Africa, Feruza Jurayeva of Uzbekastan, Aneta Ozga of Poland, and Rasa Paskeviciene of Lithuania, on a ghost tour of downtown Boone. Photo by Molly Cogburn  |  The AppalachianHarmon has worked in both the corrections and as a firefighter, and he said he thinks his experience with security and safety would make him the best choice.

“I hope the students will overlook the ticket name that I’m under and look at what I’m actually trying to do for them,” he said.

Harmon’s grandfather also instilled the idea of openness to Harmon, who hopes to use that if elected.

“We’re going to have open meetings, discuss things, because that’s how my grandfather was,” Harmon said. “He would sit down, get the facts, talk with people, because that’s how you get things solved.”

Harmon and his grandfather didn’t agree on everything, though. Harmon said he thinks his grandfather would not like the idea of him running for mayor.

“My grandfather, on the other hand, was a quiet man and wouldn’t like the publicity,” Harmon said.Mayoral candidate Brad Harmon puts up multiple flags beside Dixie Pride on King Street. Harmon owns Harmon's Dixie Pride Shop on King Street, where he offers historic photos, ghost walks around town and other goods.  Photos by Molly Cogburn  |  The Appalachian

Harmon has always had an interest in history and collecting items. His shop contains numerous artifacts from Watauga County, and even a section of Star Trek items Harmon has collected.

“People say ‘How in the world can you have [the Star Trek collection] in an historical store?'” Harmon said. “And I tell them ‘You have to know your past before you know your future.”’

If elected, Harmon said he plans to take off some time working at the shop.

Bill Jamison, a friend of Harmon, said in a post on the “Brad Harmon for Mayor” Facebook page that he has known Harmon since they were in college together and thinks he is the best candidate for the position.

“As a veteran myself, I stand behind Brad for mayor of Boone 100 percent,” he said in a post. “Boone needs traditions it once had. I am an Afghan War veteran and proudly support Brad in his run for office. Not speaking just as a veteran, Brad and I have been friends since college. He is truly the man for the job.”

Story: CHELSEY FISHER, Senior News Reporter
Photos by MOLLY COGBURN, Staff Photographer