ELIZABETHTOWN — Incumbent Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker and newcomer Hakeem Brown each beat back challengers Tuesday in the party primary election, and will now face off against each other in the Nov. 6 general election.
The primary election saw just 25.6 percent of Bladen County’s registered voters cast a ballot.
McVicker defeated his Republican challenger, Billy Ward, handily with 2,090 votes or 84.82 percent. Ward took 374 votes, or 15.18 percent. In the absentee voting, McVicker held a 976-276 margin.
The Republican incumbent, who is a retired N.C. State Highway Patrol officer, will be looking for his second term as Bladen County sheriff.
On the Democrat side of Tuesday’s primary, Brown was the night’s leading vote-getter with 2,368 and easily defeated his challenger Gary Edwards, who gathered 622 votes. Brown took 79.2 percent, while Edwards had 20.8 percent. In the absentee balloting, Brown held a 1,171-232 advantage.
“I’m thrilled with the results, but it’s far from over — there’s still a lot of work to do,” Brown said Tuesday. “If we want to solve the problems in Bladen County, we’ve got to address things multiple ways. Instead of just throwing the book at young people, we need to get agencies like Teen Court involved and give people an alternative to jail.”
Brown, a former deputy under McVicker with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, now serves as the license and theft inspector for the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or email@example.com.