The race for sheriff of Nash County has gone far beyond the mild-mannered campaigns seen in most local races. Tuesday, more than 20 officers from six local police departments posed for cameras on the courthouse steps in a show against incumbent Sheriff Jimmy Grimes.
"The Sheriff's Department doesn't work with any local departments whatsoever. That's the reason all of us are out here showing our support," said Sharpsburg Police Det. Joel Batchelor.
Grimes' challenger, David Hawkins, did not organize the photo op, but he did participate. He says the officers' action shows that the department needs a new leader.
"These officers don't feel like they have any cooperation from the sheriff. The cooperation they get is from the individual deputies, and they want someone they feel like they can trust to work with," said Hawkins.
Police chiefs from several of the departments say the protestors do not represent their employers.
In fact, Spring Hope and Rocky Mount Police say relations with Grimes' office are very good.
The incumbent and his supporters say voters will do well to look at his record instead of his enemies.
"Any time you have an opponent running against you, they've got to find something bad about you. Jimmy has done a good job, his record has shown that," said Grimes supporter Brenda Stallings.
"Look at what the sheriff's office has done over the last four years in improvements and keep in mind we've never run a negative campaign, and we will not do it at this time," said Grimes.
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