Has been mayor for 36 years.


Newport Mayor Derryl Garner sits in his office. Garner has been Newport’s mayor for 36 years but is not seeking re-election in November.

Jannette Pippin/Halifax Media
Published: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 06:39 PM.

A special folder sits among the files on the desk of Newport Mayor Derryl Garner.

Red hearts are colored on the front, and inside is a stack of thank-you letters from the latest class of third-graders from Newport Elementary School to have visited him at town hall.

They love sitting in the mayor’s chair and Garner has loved leading them to the Town Council Chamber to show them where town business in conducted.

"I let them sit in the mayor’s chair and I tell them ‘You can sit in the mayor’s chair one day, or the governor’s chair, or the president’s chair,’" he said.

He sees their potential, just as others saw his and set in motion a term as town mayor that has lasted 36 years.

Garner said he was approached by several people about running for mayor in 1977. With no local government experience, he was hesitant but was reminded there were schools he could go to and training he could take.

After talking with his wife and getting the OK from the commanding general at Cherry Point, where he worked at Fleet Readiness Center East, he decided to run for election.

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