Christopher vies for sheriff's position

By DeeAnna Haney | Jan 15, 2013

Longtime Clyde resident Greg Christopher has thrown his name into the hat the next Haywood County sheriff, a post that will be left vacant following Sheriff Bobby Suttles’ retirement effective Feb. 8.

Because Suttles will be resigning in the middle of his term and is a Democrat, the Democratic Party will choose his successor.

Chief Deputy Larry Bryson will serve in the position until the party’s selection takes office. The chosen candidate will serve until a sheriff can be elected in 2014.

Christopher is a graduate of Tuscola High School and served 21 and a half years in the Army National Guard in the Headquarters Company of the 105th Military Police Battalion, Asheville.

He has worked with the North Carolina Highway Patrol for 27 years and plans to retire from his current position as a lieutenant with Troop G Headquarters in Asheville.

“I am a firm believer that a law enforcement officer is a public servant in the truest sense of the word,” he said. “Law enforcement officers must remember that they live in a glass house and their standards, both on and off duty, are a direct reflection of their agency and the county in which they serve.”

Having raised three children with his wife in Waynesville, Christopher said he has a vested interest in Haywood County and plans to lead the sheriff’s office to serve all citizens regardless of where they live in the county.

So far, two others have indicated an interest in the position — Bryson and Bill Wilke, a lieutenant and district commander with the Asheville Police Department who lives in Canton.

Janie Benson, chairwoman for the Democratic Party, said they will discuss and decide on the specific characteristics they wish to see in the future sheriff at the Jan. 28 meeting.

Candidates will be able to address the committee during a forum on Feb. 23, which will also be open to any registered Democrat. The committee will accept questions from registered Democrats in written form submitted a week before the forum. The forum will be at the new Haywood County Courthouse but the time has not yet been decided.

The election for sheriff will be Saturday, March 2.

"We are encouraging precinct chairs to have precinct meetings and gather information about what they want from a sheriff and a person they might be supporting. We are trying to make this process as democratic as we can," Benson said.

Those interested in the sheriff’s position are asked to complete an “Intent to Run for Haywood Sheriff” form no later than 2 p.m. Jan. 17. For questions about the process, contact Janie Benson at 456-4942 or 734-9056.