BY HANNAH LESTER
LEE COUNTY —
District 5 Lee County Commissioner John Andrew Harris passed away over the weekend.
Harris began his political career in Opelika in 1986 by serving on the Opelika City Council, a position he held until 1994. After this, he served on the Lee County Commission for over two decades.
Following a brief hiatus, Harris returned to the commission this past fall, elected to District 5 in November.
Outside of politics, Harris also owned a grocery store in Opelika for 15 years. Before this last term on the commission, Harris was serving as the chairman of political action for the NAACP of Alabama.
“I do more than just a commissioner,” Harris said when he started his campaign last spring. “I go out and talk to the community, ride the roads, try to bond and form a relationship with them. We need to do more than that. I’m an innovative commissioner.”
During his lifetime, Harris received numerous distinguished commendations and awards spanning across his political career, including but not limited to: the Barack Obama Lifetime Achievement Award (2016), the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award (2018, Dream Organization) and the Champion of Change Political Action Award (2019).
Harris’ funeral will be held on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m. at St. Luke AME Church in Opelika. It will be open to the community.
Visitation will be held Friday, Jan. 20, at 4 p.m. at Harris Funeral Home.