December 7, 2015

Danny Couch of Buxton will run for Hatteras commissioner

Danny Couch, a Hatteras Island businessman, has announced his candidacy for the Dare County Board of Commissioners District 4.

Couch made the decision after fellow Democrat Allen Burrus announced that he won’t seek re-election to the District 4 seat that he has held since 2006 when appointed to fill out the term of the late Joseph "Mac" Midgett.  

“Last week, I filed to run to retain my seat on the board of education but, days later, after Allen told me that he isn’t going to run, I knew that I needed to switch to run for the board of commissioners and will do so this week,” said Couch. 

“I’m committed to protecting the quality of education in Dare County, and I think I can best serve education by sharing my school board experience during discussions on the board of commissioners so that decisions are based on the reality of the challenges facing today’s education system. The school board is in the unenviable position of having to make do with whatever funding it is given, so work needs to be done to make sure that amount is adequate, understood and supported by the public.”

Couch also wants to help bring a more inclusive approach to the board.

“It is frustrating to witness divisiveness in Dare County government, in the form of partisanship, mistrust, and rancor,” said Couch, the owner of Hatteras Tours, real estate broker and consultant.. “We can do better.  It’s time to heal the fractures and nurture our strengths as unified citizens of Dare County.” 

Couch has a history of public service, including co-chairing the Save Cape Hatteras Lighthouse committee in the 1990s and as chairman of the board of directors of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, now a state facility. Currently, he is the museum friends' group chairman.

A ninth generation Carolinian and lifelong resident of the Outer Banks, Couch grew up surfing, fishing and hunting and is an advocate for the preservation and conservation of the county’s abundant natural resources and a student of coastal geology and barrier island dynamics.

"We are blessed to live in an area that is about 85 percent water, and about 80 percent of the land is federally-owned. While we may have had a tenuous relationship with our federal partners in the past, it doesn’t change the fact that national protection of most of Dare County is our saving grace. It’s time to foster better relations with our federal partners and engage each other in not just being efficient stewards of our natural resources, but as better, smarter and more reasonable economic partners.

“Drilling for oil and gas off the Outer Banks, a national treasure, makes no sense to me.”

Couch graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in English writing and a minor in journalism, with education and job experience in marketing, communications, and public relations. He has worked since age 11 in a family automotive business, as a commercial landlord, and for several years in newspaper media including 15 years as a history columnist.

He is the husband of Sherry Couch, principal at Cape Hatteras Elementary School. They have three children -- Susanna Rae, a sophomore at Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies, and two elementary school-age boys, Gideon and Griffin.

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