Marshall unseats Phelps as IOW sheriff

Published 11:39 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2011

ISLE OF WIGHT—Smithfield Police Chief Mark Marshall defeated six-term incumbent Charlie Phelps and challenger Jim Crotts to be elected Isle of Wight County Sheriff.

Marshall, who will take office on Jan. 1, won the seat with 7,319 votes or about 66 percent of the vote. Phelps, 68, picked up 3,028 votes or roughly 27 percent. Crotts, 50, picked up 769 votes or about 7 percent.

“What we were hoping is that people were paying attention to the issues and I think fortunately for us they heard the messages,” Marshall, 52, said Tuesday night. “I think they are clearly looking for change.”

Marshall called the results a “mandate” for change, but was also quick to recognize the incumbent for his service to the county.

“I don’t want to undermine Charles Phelps and his 24 years experience,” Marshall said.

The sheriff-elect said he has a lot of work to do, but hopes that the transition in less than two months can be a smooth one.

Phelps, who served with the Smithfield Police Department before being elected sheriff 24 years ago, said he plans to retire when his term expires.

“I was with two agencies my entire career,” a disappointed Phelps said in a phone interview. “It will certainly be a different lifestyle.”