The Haywood County Democratic Party has tapped Chief Deputy Bobby Suttles to replace outgoing Sheriff Tom Alexander.
Suttles is a 14-year employee of the sheriff’s department and a former Waynesville police officer. He won 111 of 166 votes cast by members of the Democratic Executive Committee on Feb. 7.
A total of five candidates applied for the sheriff post. Only three received a nomination from the Executive Committee — Suttles, retired NC Highway Patrol trooper Albert Allen, and Maggie Valley police officer Russell Gilliland. The other two — Ken Hollifield, a truck driver, and Raymond Ezell, a retired postal inspector, did not receive nominations.
Haywood County Commissioners must approve Suttles before he is officially appointed as the new sheriff, but they are bound to rubber stamp the party’s recommendation.
— By Julia Merchant