Democratic candidates for Columbus County Sheriff face off in forum

Two people are challenging the seat for Columbus County Sheriff.

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Two people are challenging the seat for Columbus County Sheriff.

Victor Jacobs and Jason Soles are competing for the Democratic ticket in the primary election on May 17.

In a forum on Thursday evening hosted by the Columbus County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, the two shared their qualifications and why voters should choose them.

Both candidates have several years of experience working in law enforcement as well as fire and EMS.

Victor Jacobs is a sergeant with Pender County Sheriff’s Office, previously working at Columbus County Sheriff’s Office. When asked about the biggest obstacle in reducing crime in Columbus County, Jacobs says it’s drugs. If elected, he hopes to launch the “Sheriff’s Heroin Addiction and Recovery Program.”

“It reinforces positive thinking. It introduces them to resources to use to get them off of drugs,” Jacobs said. “There’s no way we’ll be able to get rid of all the drugs that are in the county but what we can do is those same addictions that they face that got them in jail we can give them other tools to use once they walk out of our door.”

Jason Soles is an auxiliary officer at the Whiteville Police Department, with prior experience as a sergeant at Tabor City Police Department and a captain at the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office.

Soles says the biggest obstacle is having enough officers to cover the entire county and regaining citizens’ trust.

“Everywhere I go people tell me that they lack trust in law enforcement nowadays. We’ve got to bridge a gap and find out a way to gain the trust of the citizens again in Columbus County,” Soles said. “Law enforcement cannot be done without the assistance and support of the citizens.”

The top vote-getting will go up against incumbent Sheriff Jody Greene in the general election this fall. Greene says he did not participate in the forum because his name will not be on the primary election ballot because he is the only Republican running for the office.

To watch the forum in full, visit here.

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