Two remain in race for sheriff
The race is now down to two candidates seeking the post for sheriff following Sheriff Bobby Suttles' retirement next month.
Chief Deputy Larry Bryson was the first to throw his name into the ring followed by Bill Wilke, a lieutenant and district commander with the Asheville Police Department, and Greg Christopher, a lieutenant with the NC Highway Patrol.
The Haywood County Democratic Executive Committee voted unanimously in a Monday meeting to select a registered Democrat for the position, which throws Wilke out of the race.
Both Bryson and Christopher are registered Democrats, but Wilke is registered as a Republican.
Janie Benson, Democratic party chairwoman, said the decision to select a Democrat was made because of rules set forth by the NC Democratic Party Plan of Organization.
Wilke ran for the post on the Republican ticket against Suttles in 2010.
Because Suttles is retiring midterm and he is a Democrat, the Democratic Party is responsible for selecting the next sheriff.
Whoever is appointed sheriff will serve until a new sheriff can be elected in 2014.
Sheriff candidates will have the opportunity to address the public and the Democratic executive committee during a forum at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Haywood County Justice Center in courtroom 2B.
Ray Rapp will serve as moderator and each candidate will be allowed to speak for 12 to 15 minutes.
Registration will begin at 10 a.m. The forum will be open to all registered Democrats.
Following their speech, Rapp will ask questions that have been previously submitted.
Written questions may be submitted to Democratic Headquarters before Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. by any registered Democrat. Supply your name, precinct, and the name of your precinct chairperson with your question. Each candidate will have the opportunity to answer each question.
Although any registered Democrat may submit questions and attend this meeting, only the officials of the party and its affiliate groups, as specified by the N.C. Democratic Party Plan of Organization, are eligible to vote for sheriff. They will be notified by mail that they are official delegates.
The election to nominate a person for sheriff will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2, at the Haywood County Justice Center courtroom 2B at 11 a.m. Registration will begin at 10 a.m.