Wyche wins reelection as sheriff

Published 1:48 am Wednesday, November 8, 2023

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Josh A. Wyche Sr. drew tremendous support from voters in the city of Franklin and Southampton County en route to winning reelection as the sheriff of those localities Tuesday evening, Nov. 7.

Wyche earned 69.19% of the vote in Franklin, defeating challenger Tommy Potter 1,779 votes to 787, according to unofficial results from the Virginia Department of Elections.

In Southampton County, Wyche received 60.46% of the vote to hold a 4,268 to 2,784 edge in votes cast.

Wyche, who is wrapping up his first term as sheriff, expressed excitement on election night about having the opportunity to serve for another four years, and he made a point to convey a message of unity.

“I’m looking forward to working with all the citizens, those that voted for me and those that didn’t vote for me,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’m still their sheriff, and I’m going to treat them all the same.”

Potter conceded the election shortly before 9 p.m. on Nov. 7 in a live video on his “Potter for Sheriff” Facebook page. 

He also shared his reaction to the electoral result later in the evening in an interview.

“We are extremely saddened and disappointed by the results, but elections are decided by the voters, and the voters have decided the level of law enforcement that they’ve come to expect is satisfactory to them,” he told The Tidewater News. “We ran a campaign on moving law enforcement forward to align with other law enforcement agencies throughout Hampton Roads, and we stand by our statement that we feel like that law enforcement should be accountable to our citizens, focused on the individuals who comprise the agency and engage with our communities. And we’re extremely proud of that message, and we’re disappointed that the citizens of Franklin and Southampton didn’t see it that way.”

Amid the campaign, Wyche briefly summarized in a candidate questionnaire why he decided to run for reelection.

“Running for reelection is not about me,” he stated. “I decided to run for reelection as sheriff because I pride myself in serving my community, and I love what I do.”

He also outlined in the questionnaire what he would like to achieve in his next term.

“The goals I would like to achieve during the next four years is to be able to offer higher salaries which are compatible to those who surround us,” he stated. “My goal is to continue to look for qualified applicants, seeking to become fully staffed, better able to serve and protect all citizens of Southampton County and the city of Franklin.”