Wilke to seek nod for sheriff's post

By Vicki Hyatt | Jan 07, 2013
Lt. Bill Wilke, a district commander with the Asheville Police Department, will seek the Democratic executive nomination for sheriff.

Canton resident Bill Wilke has become the second individual to express interest in succeeding Haywood County Sheriff Bobby Suttles.

Chief Deputy Larry Bryson, who will serve as sheriff between the time Suttles steps down on Feb. 8 and the Democratic Party's executive committee selection takes office, was the first to announce his intention to vie for the post.

In a letter to Janie Benson, Democratic Party chairwoman, Wilke announced he was seeking the recommendation of the party’s executive committee to serve as sheriff. Whoever is appointed will serve until a sheriff can be elected in 2014.

Wilke is a lieutenant and district commander with the Asheville Police Department. He ran for the position on the Republican ticket in 2010 against Suttles, who was first appointed to the job in 2009 following the mid-term resignation of long-time Democratic Sheriff Tom Alexander.

“As you may be aware, my focus as a candidate for this office in the 2010 election was founded on an approach to the duties of that office from a highly professional and nonpartisan law enforcement perspective, which resulted in a very close race,” Wilke wrote. “Accordingly, I am prepared to submit a resume or any other items for your consideration or participate in any formal process required of the applicants in this open and transparent process.”

When a sheriff resigns in mid-term, the executive party to which he or she belongs chooses a successor. Suttles is a Democratic, so that party will name a replacement.

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