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Candidates and their supporters attend a local Democratic gathering at Waterfront Park, Saturday, Aug. 11.

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By William F. West
Staff Writer

Monday, August 13, 2018

Eddie Graham, the Democratic candidate for sheriff in Pasquotank County, says he hasn’t asked for or received an endorsement from the current sheriff — fellow Democrat Randy Cartwright.

Nor has Graham, an Elizabeth City police sergeant who finished first in a four-candidate field in the May Democratic primary, been been endorsed by the three candidates he defeated.

Graham said Saturday, however, he plans to seek the endorsement of Cartwright and the three Democrats he ran against — Brent McKecuen, Todd Wagner and Tobie McPherson — and hopes they’ll be aboard for his campaign this fall.

Graham faces Tommy Wooten, the winner of the May Republican primary, in the general election. The winner will succeed Cartwright, who did not seek re-election to a seventh term.

In an interview prior to speaking at a Democratic picnic at Waterfront Park on Saturday, Graham said he plans to keep emphasizing his platform of building bridges in the community and making Pasquotank safer for all citizens.

While at the microphone on Saturday, Graham publicly thanked Cartwright, who was standing in the crowd of about 20 Democrats, for his long service to the county.

“We appreciate what you do for us, sheriff,” Graham said.

Attempts to obtain comment from Cartwright on whether he plans to endorse Graham to succeed him were unsuccessful both Saturday and Sunday.

Cartwright endorsed McKecuen — a lieutenant in the Pasquotank Sheriff’s Office — over Graham in the Democratic primary, waiting until several days before early voting started in April to state his preference.

Attempts to obtain comment from McKecuen, Wagner and McPherson over the weekend on whether they plan to endorse Graham were also unsuccessful. Wagner and McPherson also work for the Pasquotank Sheriff’s Office, as does Wooten, Graham’s Republican opponent in the fall.

Graham said his campaign has been busy since the primary election.

“We've been on the ground, still talking to people and getting out and meeting and greeting. And that's what it's all about,” he said.

Other Democrats speaking at Saturday's party picnic included state Senate District 1 candidate Cole Phelps of Washington County; state Rep. Howard Hunter III of Hertford County, who is seeking re-election in House District 5; Pasquotank Board of Commissioners Chairman Cecil Perry, who is running unopposed for his Inside City seat; and Pasquotank Commissioner Charles Jordan, who’s seeking election to the at-large seat to which he was appointed last year.

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