Three men were considered to take over for Sheriff Sid Causey when he retires in July; Chief Deputy Ed McMahon, retired sheriff's office Major David Smithey and another retired Major Lawrence Hayes. Monday night, New Hanover County Democratic Executive Committee members cast their votes. With 250 votes to Smithey's 62 and a half and Hayes' zero, it was a landslide for McMahon. McMahon, who has been with the sheriff's office for 18 years, has been Sheriff Causey's recommendation since Causey announced his retirement. Causey said while he's friends with all three men who were up for the spot, he feels in his heart McMahon is the best choice. "He is the kind of person that serves as a sheriff should and also protects. When the hammer needs to fall, he can drop it," Causey said. Sheriff Causey calls McMahon a unique man with impeccable integrity who's grounded in the community. "He is truly, truly a good man and he always, all the time, tries to do the right thing," he said. McMahon said he is ready and excited to start serving. "The one promise that I would give is that I want to be a servant leader and that any decisions that I make will be based on what's best for the community, not for Ed McMahon," said Chief Deputy McMahon. New Hanover County Commissioners still have to approve Monday night's recommendation, but state law says they "shall elect" the party's nominee. Sheriff Causey has asked for that vote to be added to the commissioners' agenda for their first meeting in June.
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