Candidate forum for sheriff tonight

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tonight, The Tidewater News will host its second candidate forum in hopes of better educating people on their choices for the Nov. 8 general election.

The three candidates running for Southampton County Sheriff will be this week’s guests.

Running for sheriff are Democrat Jack Stutts, chief deputy for the sheriff’s office, and independents David Holland, a former assistant Fairfax County police commander, and Brian Marvel, a Franklin police officer.

It’s an important election because for the first time in 28 years, the sheriff’s office will be under new leadership. Sheriff Vernie Francis is retiring after seven terms.

Traditionally, once someone is elected sheriff, that person tends to stay in office until he or she resigns or retires. Voters tend to re-elect incumbents in these roles due to familiarity and name recognition, as long as it’s been good name recognition.

So you want to make sure you vote for the most qualified candidate for the $85,000-a-year job.

Stutts and Holland will attend. Marvel, however, has an out-of-town commitment he scheduled five to six months ago.

Last week, seven out of eight candidates in contested races for Southampton County Supervisor shared their views during a similar forum at the high school. We think they definitely gave voters something to think about.

Hope to see you for the 7 p.m. forum today, Oct. 5, in the Southampton High School auditorium. Tidewater News General Manager Tony Clark will moderate the forum.