Local News

Wilson sheriff apologizes for election-night remarks

Posted May 7, 2010 12:06 p.m. EDT
Updated May 7, 2010 12:17 p.m. EDT

— Wilson County Sheriff Wayne Gay has apologized for remarks he made Tuesday night upon learning that he had lost the Democratic primary to former deputy Calvin Woodard.

Gay told a crowd of supporters that Woodard wasn't the right man to lead the county for the next four years and that he would work to help another candidate defeat Woodard in the November general election. By law, Gay cannot enter his name as a write-in candidate in November.

Woodard, a State Bureau of Investigation agent, defeated Gay, one of the state's longest-serving sheriffs, by a 62 to 38 percent margin.

Gay also has blamed a racial divide in Wilson County for his loss. He is white, and Woodard is black.

On Thursday, Gay said, he called Woodard to apologize. He said he plans to help Woodard make the transition into office and wouldn't be part of any effort to get a write-in candidate to challenge him in November.