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Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:35

Another Swain sheriff candidate joins race

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A new candidate has joined the field of potentials for the Swain County sheriff’s race. In addition to Republican Sheriff Curtis Cochran and Democratic challenger Chuck McMahan, the November ballot will also feature unaffiliated candidate Odell Chastain.

“I’m running on the values of the Constitution, to support and defend the Constitution,” Chastain said of his candidacy. 

Chastain secured his unaffiliated slot on the ballot by gathering the required 412 petition signatures. The candidate presented the Swain County elections office with the signatures on June 9, more than two weeks ahead of the June 27 deadline. 

Chastain is a retired law enforcement officer. For 18 years he served as a deputy in Lincoln, Gaston and Swain counties. For 10 years he served with the Bryson City Police. The candidate also spent eight Vietnam-era years in the Army and, more recently, worked for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

“If I’m hired by the people to be sheriff, I will protect our guns and our rights,” Chastain said, contending that his opponents have not made such a promise to voters. “No one’s ever said they would protect our guns.”

In November, the unaffiliated candidate will go up against Swain’s incumbent sheriff — Cochran, who had no primary challengers — and McMahan, who beat three other Democratic candidates during the May primary. 

— Jeremy Morrison, News Editor

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