BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Voters elected a new sheriff in Bladen County Tuesday. It’s the first time a Republican will hold that position in recent history.
The county’s first black sheriff tried but did not succeed getting a second term in office. Prentis Benston, the incumbent Democrat, lost to his Republican challenger Jim McVicker 52-48.
“I spoke from the heart and told people what I wanted to do,” McVicker said. “If there’s ever been a Republican in this county, I’m not familiar with that. There may have been I’m not sure but if there has its been many many many years.”
McVicker added something he’s proud of is how both campaigns handled the race.
“There was no mud-slinging,” McVicker said.
Sheriff Benston said he’s going to do all he can to make the transition a smooth one.
“I have been honored and blessed by God to have worked in law enforcement with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office for 27+ years and certainly it’s been an honor to serve the citizens of Bladen County and certainly, life goes on,” Benston said.
Benston said under his command, crime rates went down and he was unaware of any major complaints. But now, he says, it’s just time for a new chapter.
Sheriff-elect McVicker has more than 40 years in law enforcement. He retired from the Highway Patrol in 2002 and is currently a detective at the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.