Haywood County’s Bobby Suttles won his first election for the sheriff’s seat he has held since 2008, beating Republican challenger Bill Wilke by only 7 percent.
Suttles won 20 of the 29 precincts, with Wilke taking most of the county’s southern districts.
Both contenders brought a plethora of law enforcement experience to the race – Wilke touting his 14-year career and current position as night sergeant with the Asheville Police Department and Suttles’ resume listing 35 years of representing the law, including 15 with the sheriff’s department.
After the mid-term resignation of former sheriff Tom Alexander in 2008, Suttles was tapped by the Democratic Party to move into the sheriff’s role from the chief deputy position, which he’d held since 2003.
He ran on a platform of “continued progress,” promising technology upgrades and increased drug enforcement and selling his ability to effectively maintain the department’s budget.
Wilke, an Army reservist who just completed a tour in Iraq, also pledged his support for drug enforcement and better technology, and also vowed to take a $10,000 per-year personal pay cut. He also advocated for better reporting and accountability within the department.
Haywood County Sheriff
Bobby Suttles (D) 10,612
William (Bill) Wilke (R) 9,332