Stutts first to announce candidacy for sheriff

Published 11:06 am Monday, April 11, 2011

COURTLAND—The chief deputy with the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office is the first to announce is candidacy for sheriff for the Nov. 8 election.

John B. “Jack” Stutts announced Monday, three days after Sheriff Vernie Francis Jr. indicated he would not seek an eighth term.

“After 30 years with the Sheriff’s Office, I know the county and the city (of Franklin), and I believe I know the people as well,” Stutts said in his announcement. “Alice and I are both devoted to this area where we chose to live and rear our children. I hope the voters will support my desire to continue to serve them.”

County Registrar Leona Davis couldn’t say how many have picked up applications to run for sheriff. As of Friday, no one had filed.

“We have people coming by picking them up for various things,” Davis said. “Until I get something firm on my desk, I really can’t give out that information.”

To run for sheriff, which pays $85,000 a year, candidates must have lived in Virginia for one year, and be 18 years old and a registered voter, Davis said.

Candidates running in a party must file by June 15 for the Aug. 23 primary. Independent candidates must file by Aug. 23. The General Election is on Nov. 8.

Stutts began his career in the Sheriff’s Office as a deputy under the late Sheriff Ryland Brooks in 1981. He was assigned to be a detective in 1988 and promoted to detective sergeant in 1993. He became a lieutenant in 1998, captain in 2004, and last year was promoted to major and chief deputy.

A graduate of Franklin High School, Stutts holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Paul D. Camp Community College. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy at Quantico and has completed many other courses in related police and social work.

Stutts was the first regional drug enforcement task force coordinator who was not a member of the Virginia State Police.

He is married to the former Alice Neave of the Corinth community. She is a registered nurse at Southampton Memorial Hospital. Their son, Judson, is an engineer in Richmond and their daughter, Jessica, is studying engineering at Virginia Tech. They live in the Forks of the River section.