NEWTON — Throughout his campaign for Catawba County Sheriff, Don Brown stressed the importance of collaborating with area law enforcement agencies and his ability to do so.
Catawba County Republicans chose Brown on Tuesday as their next sheriff. The margin of victory was similar to that of sitting sheriff Coy Reid when he first ran for the office in 2010.
Reid was the last Catawba County sheriff elected in a race in which no incumbents were running. He won with 7,902 votes, or about 68.9 percent of the vote, against Philip McGuire and Jeff Korn.
Brown won with 13,025 votes, capturing about 69.6 percent of the total vote. Jason Reid, son of the sitting sheriff and former sheriff’s office captain, secured 5,678 votes as the only other candidate in the primary.
With no Democrat opponent in sight for the November general election, Brown echoed his previous statements as the top priority when he enters office Dec. 3.
“We’ve said it, now we’ve got to do it,” Brown said. “We’ve all got to work together and do what we promised. And that is to work together, be transparent, and to do everything professionally and with integrity.”
Several area law enforcement officers were in attendance at Brown’s gathering in Conover Tuesday evening, most notably Hickory Police Department Chief Thurman Whisnant.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Brown had secured all 40 precincts within the county.
Official results are expected to be posted next week.
Jason Reid did not issue a comment on election night, but did arrive to Brown’s gathering at approximately 9:30 p.m. Tuesday after it was clear who would be elected the county’s next sheriff.
Reid embraced his campaign opponent and wished him luck, Brown said.
“That meant a lot to me,” Brown said. “I respect him for doing that. Now we’ve got to be on the same side.”
Reid was the subject of much discussion during the election, facing an SBI investigation amid allegations he placed a tracking device from the county sheriff’s office on an ex-girlfriend’s vehicle in Lincoln County.
Reid remained vocal in his denial of any wrongdoing leading up to the primary. In a press conference Monday, Reid said of the SBI investigation: “This entire situation is a political attack.”
In a post on his campaign Facebook page that is now unavailable to view, Reid thanked voters for their support on Wednesday morning. (See infobox)
Brown, the current Newton Police chief, said he was surprised when early voting results rolled in with him ahead by a sizable margin. As more precincts reported and the outcome became clearer, Brown reflected on the journey that began in September when he declared his candidacy.
“It’s been an experience that I’ve never imagined. It’s been struggles at times, a lot of work of being in different places at different times,” Brown said. “Took time away from my family, and that’s a hard pill to swallow.”
After all 40 precincts were declared in Brown’s favor and an emotional victory speech, the sheriff-elect said he’ll be ready to hit the ground running in December.
“Now there’s a lot of work to be done, it’s going to take some time,” Brown said. “I’m ready for the challenge.”