Mr. Benston won the election and he is sheriff of Bladen County. #1 news story of the year 2010 according to todays Bladen Journal. But, did he win the true election? My advice would be for him to take a look at how many votes he got that were not straight party. As one guest put it about the good ole boy politics of the past being on their way out. A strong message was sent in the November elections, but it seems the new sheriff has not even taken the time to look at the INTELLIGENT votes cast in the election.
Any of you with access to the internet(Bladenonline) can access the election results on the "links" icon; then going to Bladen County link; then going to Board of elections; then going to election results. One will fined these figures for the sheriff's race but they hold pretty steady for all Democratic candidates. IF IT WASN'T FOR THE STRAIGHT PARTY VOTES, Mr. Benton would have been slaughtered not just a landslide but a SLAUGHTER.
Straight Party Votes cast
Billy Ward 5844-all these votes had to be specifically cast for Mr. Ward. Another interesting thing about the votes cast; even Republicans cast 588 STRAIGHT PARTY votes. Those votes if cast individually for all Republican candidates running and then voting for Mr. Ward for sheriff would have won the sheriff's race for Mr. Ward. One wouldn't think that all Republican straight party voters would have voted for Mr. Ward, but one would not think they all would have voted for Mr. Benston either. With the Liberterian straight party votes there would have been 689 votes that maight have been cast for Mr. Ward.
Prentis Benston 6398 votes-but remember 4399 of those votes were straight party votes. Take away those 4399 votes that were cast mainly by members of the BCIA, of which Mr. Benston use to be the vice-president until he rsigned AND HE WOULD HAVE RECEIVED ONLY 1999 VOTES CAST SPECIFICALLY FOR MR. BENSTON. Based on this, one can see that Mr. Ward received 5844 votes cast specifically for him and Mr. Benston received only 1999 votes cast specifically for him. I'm going to go into this any farther than to say that Mr. Ward received almost 3 times more votes for specifically sheriff than did Mr. Benston.
There is always much speculation about what message voters were trying to send when they voted. It is evident that the voters were telling the Deomcrats that we are SICK and TIRED of politics as usual(the good ole boy method). In the sheriff's race, I personnally believe the voters who voted specifically against Mr. Benston were saying that they are SICK and TIRED of the good ole boys method of running the sheriff's dept. You know, firing deputies for no justifiable reason just like his protege' did back in July. Now, he has done the same thing to Sgt. Edwards that is the good ole boys way of running our sheriff's dept. People in law enforcement MUST be led; they can not be pushed or drug to better "serving and protecting." The personnel of our sheriff's dept. deserve leadership that is fair and trustworthy. This message was sent by 5844 voters when they voted specifically for Mr. Ward. The people of Bladen County want to know if you recieved that message Mr. Benston. By your actions with Sgt. Edwards, it seems you did not. It is still business as usual and yet "NO ONE HAS BEEN FIRED". What a lousy reason to give to a long time employee that he is not bing fired it is just that "his services were no longer needed". You might as well have just have went ahead and told him you "didn't like the way he parted his hair" or you "didn't like the color of his skin" or you "didn't like the fact that he believes elected officials should be open and transparent in their actions" or any of thousands of other good ole boy reasons why deputies are fired for no jutifiable
NOW TO THE VOTERS OF BLADEN COUNTY
One of the guest commented on the general stautes of North Carolina. This is where the battle must start. As it currently stands, deputies work at the pleasure of the sheriff. As it currently stands a sheriff, indeed, can fire a deputy because of "anything", even his race. This must be changed and the men to start bombarding about getting the General Stautes changed are Wesley Meredith and William Brisson. The approach is simple for Mr. Brisson, look at the votes that were cast for you over and above the straight party votes. The voters are saying politics as usual are on their way out and so will you be if the statues regarding the sheriff departments and straight party voting are not changed. No one, and the voters are saying in greater numbers, NO ONE, should be allowed in an elected position to fire another public servant without just reason. The county manager at the very least should have to sign off on the firing.
The voting statutes, must be corrected so that each voter must cast individual votes for each office. The voters are speaking; Mr. Benston, Mr. Meredith, Mr. Brisson, and any other person in an elected position; ARE YOU LISTENING. To Sgt. Edwards, my deepest regrets as to how your release from our sheriff's dept. took place. It really is a shame. Even those 1999 people who specifically voted for Mr. Benston would agree with that unless they are satisfied with the old "good ole boys way of doing things."
At least Mr. Benston will not be hiring any more deputies. He has already stated, "your services are not needed".
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