He's been keeping a low profile ever since being released from prison last month, but former Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett has made an appearance on Facebook endorsing a candidate who's running for his old job.
Tim Daniels is a state trooper running for Sheriff of Brunswick County as a Republican. So you might be surprised to hear that one of his many Facebook fans is a high-profile Democrat: Hewett.
In a post on Daniels's Facebook page, Hewett writes, "I knew Tim as a child, loved him as a teen.... and now support him as the next Sheriff of Brunswick County.... Thank God I am free and can endorse a 'man of honor' to carry the flag that was robbed from me."
Before going to prison for obstruction of justice, Hewett was an extremely popular sheriff for 14 years. He still has a big following, but he's also a convicted felon, so we asked Daniels if he was reluctant to accept his endorsement.
"I accept all citizens' support in Brunswick County," Daniels said. "I'm a Brunswick County native, and I would expect the Hewetts and all the other Brunswick County natives that really know me to support me."
Sheriff John Ingram served under Hewett for more than a decade and was one of more than a dozen deputies subpoenaed to testify about the sheriff's behavior. Deputies said Hewett did everything from coming to crime scenes drunk to having them do his campaign work while on the clock.
"Former Sheriff Hewett has served his time and been out," Ingram said. "I wish him nothing but a good life, and whether he supports Tim Daniels or whoever, that's certainly his right."
There is just one more day to file, but right now, Daniels and Ingram are the only ones running for Brunswick County Sheriff, and they're both Republicans. If no one else files, that means the race will likely be decided in the primary election May 4, and voters will only be eligible to participate in the sheriff's primary if they are registered as a Republican or unaffiliated.