Beaufort County holds forum for sheriff and other political candidates

BEAUFORT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -Beaufort County community members were in attendance Monday night at a forum for candidates running for different positions in the November election.

State House, County Commissioner, Sheriff and Board of Education candidates all fielded questions, but the sheriff’s race between Democrat Corey Rogerson and Republican Scott Hammonds seemed to be at the forefront.

Rogerson, who is a Beaufort County native, says that being a hometown product is all the more reason why he is running.

“March will be 14 years for me in law enforcement and all of it has been right here in our local law enforcement agencies,” Rogerson said. “I’m born and raised right here in Beaufort County, I’m a native of it and I’ve worked at our sheriff’s office, and I know what it takes. I can hit the ground running from day one working on these necessary issues, it’s not going to take me time to learn the daily duties of the sheriff’s office.”

Rogerson’s opponent, Scott Hammonds beat out Beaufort County Sheriff Ernie Coleman, who served for two terms, by nearly 1,200 votes in the primary.

Hammonds says that the win was huge because it showed that the community was ready to move in a different direction.

“My win in the primary election was humbling, it let me know that the people trusted the information that I was giving them,” Hammonds said. “I was giving them the experience that I’ve had for over 30 years in a career of getting the trust from the office of the highway patrol that I was currently employed with and as a military leader in the Army National Guard. Pride, trust, and leadership experience is very important to me.”

During the forum, both candidates answered numerous questions and also had the chance to voice their mission if elected.

They say giving residents the chance to see them in person is vital

“I think a lot of our citizens have the same questions so it’s good to put it out there in a public setting like this that way you know where each candidate stands on each issue,” Rogerson said.

Hammonds feels that trust is the most important thing.

“I want you to know that I will be the sheriff who will come to the community, work in the community, and be part of the community,” Hammonds said. “This is important to me to gain that trust between the community and the office.”

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