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Five Challengers Face Incumbent Sheriff In Warren County Primary

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WARRENTON, N.C. — In Warren County the race for sheriff is on. Sheriff Johnny Williams is facing five challengers in the Democratic primary. The challengers are up against a 12-year incumbent.

"Evidently, they are not happy with his administration," said business owner Wayne Aycock. "He's had, I believe, three terms. He's done a good job, but I guess time for a change."

That's what Aycock is hearing from his Main Street customers in Warrenton. Voter discontent is spreading.

"In Warren County, the citizens aren't getting a fair shake from the Warren County Commissioners or from the sheriff's department," said resident George Cooke. "So this is why we think it's time for a change."

Three of the five challengers are former Warren County Deputies. Eric Small now works as a Norlina Police Officer; Rufus Alston is a private investigator, and Greg Ayscue is a school resource officer in Franklin County. Terry Steedman is a retired Marine officer, while William Roberts owns a private ambulance service.

Supporters of Johnny Williams are standing by their man.

"Johnny is just one of these people that when you need him, you know that he's a cop," said supporter Al Hartley. "He's proud to be a cop. He's a good cop. And I support him 100 percent."

But voters like Cooke are looking for a change.

"I do know that Warren County deserves better than what we are getting," he said.

That will be determined by the voters, starting with the May primary. WRAL contacted Sheriff Williams numerous times to respond to his election competition, but he declined due to illness.


Fred Taylor, Reporter
Dana Franks, Web Editor

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