BOLIVIA -- The search for Brunswick County's next sheriff is nearly complete. On Saturday, members of the county's Democratic Party sifted through the list of candidates vying to take the seat vacated by former Sheriff Ron Hewett. It was standing room only at the party's headquarters. Ten candidates came forward one by one, each allowed three minutes to speak. Then it was in the hands of more than one-hundred members of the party's executive committee. Round after round of voting eliminated candidates until there were two: John Ingram, who has been serving as the county's chief deputy, and Willie Sloan, chair of the Brunswick County Board of Elections. Robert Epstein, Third Vice Chair of the Brunswick County Democratic Party, said, "The voting members of our executive committee spoke." They wanted John Ingram as sheriff. Ingram received 94.5 votes to Sloan's 81.5. Ingram said, "I was just very humbled by all the support I received during this process. It's something that really words can't express." Ingram didn't want to comment on specific issues facing the county. "I just look forward to working with everyone and moving the department forward and having the department and the community come together and make it the very best sheriff's department in the country," he said. The Board of Commissioners must formally accept the recommendation before it's official. Party leaders hope that happens within the next week. Ingram will serve as sheriff until Ron Hewett's term expires in 2010, which is when Ingram said he plans to run for the position. He doesn't know at this time who will replace him as chief deputy.
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