EMERALD ISLE — Emerald Isle Mayor Eddie Barber announced Thursday he is not running for reelection in the Tuesday, Nov. 2 municipal races.
The final day of filing for municipal elections is Friday, but Mayor Barber said he will not be among the candidates.
In a video statement on the town’s Facebook page, Mayor Barber thanked voters for the opportunity to serve two four-year terms.
“It has been a pleasure to serve the town,” he said. “It’s been the highlight of my career. It has been a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow and work with a great team.”
In a brief phone interview Thursday morning, Mayor Barber said it was a very emotional day.
“It was a tough decision,” he said. “I agonized over and prayed over it. It was probably the hardest decision I’ve ever made. But I have been a Methodist minister for 43 years and have served the town for 20 years and I just decided I needed some Eddie time while I’m still in pretty good shape.”
He said he plans to serve out his term.
“I will work as hard as I can for the town of Emerald Isle until my term ends on (Tuesday) Dec. 14,” he said, choking back tears. “It has been an honor.”
Mayor Barber was on the planning board for 12 years before running successfully for mayor.
“I’ve enjoyed my 20 years of service to the town,” he said in the video announcement, “but it is the season to move on and do other things I have always wanted to do.”
The 75-year-old mayor said he and the residents and visitors have been through a lot together, including hurricanes and the coronavirus pandemic.
“I thank you for your support,” he said. “The town is in wonderful shape.”
Emerald Isle, he said, has grown a lot during his almost eight years in office, and departments within the government have grown, too.
“I love you and appreciate you,” Mayor Barber said to his supporters in the video.
As of Thursday morning, newcomer Jason Holland is the only person who has filed for the mayoral race in Emerald Isle.
Editor's note: This article was updated at 11:11 a.m. Thursday, July 15, 2021, with additional comments from Mr. Barber.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.