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U.S. Justice Department Joins Hoke Sheriff Debate

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RAEFORD — November Elections have passed, but the Hoke County sheriff's race is still up in the air. Thursday, theU.S. Justice Departmentgot involved in the controversy.

Although the Hoke County Board of Elections dismissed complaints that Jim Davis illegally campaigned at polling places on election day, he still cannot take office.

TheState Board of Electionsfirst has to consider all appeals, and that has tensions running high in the County.

"I have found that the people are very tense," says Ernie Stallworth with the U.S. Justice Department. "They feel that the non-certification of the sheriff-elect is a travesty, but that is only part of the people. I haven't done a complete assessment. I think that everyone should understand that."

The County held a meeting Thursday night to allow the community to air their grievances.

The general consensus at the meeting was to swear Davis in as sheriff as soon as possible.

Stallworth is with the public relations arm of the Justice Department. He will issue a report to his superiors in the next few days.


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