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Cartwright: No endorsement in sheriff's race yet

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Pasquotank Sheriff Randy Cartwright

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Whichever Pasquotank sheriff’s candidates win the party primaries on May 8, they may end up doing it without the current sheriff’s endorsement.

Sheriff Randy Cartwright said Saturday he’s not yet ready to endorse any of the six candidates — four Democrats and two Republicans — vying to succeed him in next month’s party primaries. Cartwright, who’s been sheriff since 1994 and will be leaving office after December, announced last year he would not seek another four-year term.

Three of the four Democrats vying for their party’s nomination currently serve under Cartwright in the sheriff’s office, as do both of the GOP candidates, who are running in a separate primary.

The only candidate not currently working in the sheriff’s office is Eddie Graham, a Democrat who is a sergeant in the Elizabeth City Police Department.

The other Democrats are Lt. Brent McKecuen, who heads the department’s criminal investigations and narcotics division; Sgt. Todd Wagner, who heads the department’s school resource officer program and works as an SRO at River Road Middle School; and Deputy Tobie McPherson.

The Republican candidates are Lt. Bill Ward, who heads the patrol division, and Sgt. Tommy Wooten, who heads the department’s civil process.

While he wasn’t prepared to endorse a candidate Saturday, Cartwright, a registered Democrat, said he hasn’t ruled out making an endorsement in the race.

“I’m kind of weighing it and then deciding to do something later on, possibly,” he said.

Early voting for the May 8 primary starts Thursday.

Cartwright said each candidate seeking the sheriff’s job has different strengths, and he has talked about those strengths to people who’ve approached him with questions about the candidates. When asked, Cartwright declined to say what those strengths are.

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