Stutts gets 70 percent of vote for sheriff

Published 11:36 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2011

FRANKLIN—Democrat Jack Stutts received 70 percent of the vote on Tuesday to become the first new Southampton County Sheriff in 28 years.

The chief deputy for the sheriff’s office, Stutts, 55, received 4,880 votes in Franklin and Southampton County combined, while independents David Holland, 56, of Drewryville got 1,671 votes and Brian Marvel, 37, of Drewryville received 323 votes.

Stutts will replace Vernie Francis, who earlier in the year announced his retirement after seven terms. The job pays $85,000 a year.

Stutts did not return a phone call, despite repeated attempts on Tuesday night.

“I wish him the best and I pray for his success in his new position,” said Holland, the former assistant commander of personnel for the Fairfax Police Department.

Marvel had hoped to congratulate Stutts but did not have his phone number.

“It was a good race,” said the Franklin police officer. “I went out there and gave it my all. I got out there day after day.”

To break the vote down further, Holland garnered 3,621 votes in Southampton County, Holland got 1,133 votes and Marvel 232. Franklin voters chose Stutts, casting 1,259 votes followed by 538 for Holland and 91 for Marvel.

The candidates spent a combined $15,000 on the campaign, with Stutts spending two-thirds of that amount.

Robert Felts, secretary for the Electoral Board in Southampton County, estimated that 50 percent of the registered voters turned out for the election.

“We were at the polling places earlier in the day and most everywhere we went to had good flow,” Felts said from the Voter Registrar’s office, where results were being tabulated.