Three already planning to run for sheriff
Now that Orange County Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass has publically announced he does not plan to run again for sheriff in 2014, three men have already announced they plan to run for sheriff.
Charles Blackwood, who retired from the sheriff’s office last December, Larry Faucette, who retired from the sheriff’s office in 2009, and Andy Cagle, who owns a construction company, said they plan to run as Democrats for the office.
The filing period for anyone who wants to run for sheriff begins at noon on Feb. 10, 2014, and ends on Feb. 28. The primary is May 6, 2014, and the general election is Nov. 4.
If no one runs as a Republican, the winner of the May Democratic primary will become the sheriff unless there is a successful write-in campaign in November.
Blackwood, 53, retired as major of operations after 32 years and one day working for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. He is a native of Orange County and lives on his family’s farm near the Chatham County line south of Chapel Hill.
“Being the sheriff of Orange County is something that I have worked toward during my entire career,” Blackwood said.
“Being a deputy was fulfilling,” Blackwood said. “It’s an honorable duty. It’s a duty of service. It’s a way of serving your community.”
Faucette, 56, worked at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for 30 years before he retired in 2009. He still works for the sheriff as a part-time school resource officer at New Hope Elementary School.
Faucette was born and raised in the Hillsborough area and now lives between Hillsborough and Chapel Hill.
He rose to the rank of captain of investigations and also headed the school resource officers while he was at the sheriff’s office.
“I just want to continue the great service the sheriff has given the county over these years,” Faucette said. “I just want to step up and serve the citizens of Orange County.”
Faucette said his best quality is being himself.
“I am who I am,” he said. “I’m trustworthy. I’m loyal. I’m a people person.”
Andy Cagle, 46, owns a small construction business and lives in the southern Efland area south of Interstate 85. Like Faucette and Blackwood, he was born and raised in Orange County.
Cagle announced he planned to run for sheriff last February and has already started campaigning by attending various events, contacting old friends and acquaintances and putting up a website.
Cagle, who is also a bluegrass musician, has no law enforcement experience.
If elected, he would run the department as a team effort and listen to the ideas of those working in the department, he said. He would also plan on going out into the community to talk to people, find out their needs and pass that information onto the deputies.
“Through delegation and team work, you can achieve the same goal,” he said.
Sheriffs in North Carolina are not required to be certified law enforcement officers, according to Eddie Caldwell, executive vice president and general counsel of the N.C. Sheriff’s Association.
A sheriff must be at least 21 years of age, must live in the county for a year prior to running for office and must be eligible to become a registered voter in that county.
Most sheriffs in North Carolina have previously worked in law enforcement and are certified law enforcement officers, but there are a few sheriffs in North Carolina who are not certified officers, Caldwell said.
A county sheriff is responsible for patrolling the county, responding to calls for service, investigating crimes, operating and maintaining the county jail, serving civil process papers, providing security in courthouses and courtrooms, running the county’s sex offender registry program, hiring deputies and preparing budgets for consideration by the county commissioners.
There was a rumor that Carolyn Hutchison, who retired Monday as chief of the Carrboro Police Department, was planning to run for sheriff of Orange County. She said she does not plan to run and would not be eligible anyway because she lives in Chatham County.
Pendergrass, 79, has been sheriff for nearly 32 years and will have served eight terms when he retires.