Dixon gets PBA endorsement

Published 12:56 pm Sunday, August 29, 2010

Staff Writer

Donald Dixon has won the endorsement of the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association, the candidate announced.
Late last week, Dixon, a Republican running for Beaufort County sheriff, told the Washington Daily News he planned to announce the endorsement Friday evening during a $30-per-head campaign fundraiser in Washington.
Dixon was notified of the endorsement Thursday, he said.
“I am very proud and honored that the PBA has granted me their endorsement,” Dixon was quoted as saying in a news release. “As advocates for law enforcement officers and fairness in the (law enforcement) work place, the PBA endorsement not only positions me as the best candidate for the citizens of Beaufort County, but also for the deputies. As Sheriff, I will work for the citizens of Beaufort County to improve our quality of life.”
The PBA’s nod followed an interview process in Greenville early this month, according to Dixon.
“Unfortunately, a lot of people, like myself until recently, didn’t understand everything that the PBA actually stands for,” he told the Daily News Saturday.
The PBA is a watchdog group that keeps tabs on how law-enforcement officers are treated, he said.
In the release, Justin Guthrie, president of the eastern coastal chapter of the PBA, was quoted as saying, “We will ask our members, their friends and families, and all citizens who respect the strong and efficient enforcement of our laws to cast their ballots in the upcoming election in (Dixon’s) favor.”
It was unclear what kind of impact the endorsement could have on a contest in which Democratic Sheriff Alan Jordan is widely viewed as the front-runner, based on the incumbent’s fundraising lead and election totals in previous years.
Jordan wasn’t immediately available for comment Thursday.
In an interview, Harry Meredith, the sheriff’s chief deputy, pointed out the fact that Jordan has served as sheriff since 1998.
“We feel like he is doing a great job,” Meredith said. “He leads a flagship agency for the people of Beaufort County, and that’s what we hope to do for the next four years. And the endorsement we are seeking is from the people of Beaufort County.”
In his interview, Dixon said he’s been going door-to-door countywide, passing out brochures and talking to voters one on one.
He said he hopes to hold meet-and-greet sessions all over the county so people can get to know him and ask questions about his views.
“I’m working hard in the campaign,” Dixon commented. “I’m not taking anything for granted.”
Dixon, a former deputy with sheriff’s office, last faced off with Jordan in the May 2006 Democratic primary election.
Jordan won that race with three-fourths of the vote, and faced no GOP opposition in the November general election.
The sheriff’s term is four years long.
In a February interview with the Daily News, Dixon, now owner of East Coast Heating and Air Conditioning and a licensed private investigator, explained that he had always voted Republican despite his former Democratic affiliation.
The office of sheriff is seen as pivotal to the county-level aspirations of both major political parties, and leading local Democrats frequently point to Jordan’s long tenure as a feather in their caps as they seek to attract voters their banner.
Dixon, the lesser-known candidate, said his main goal between now and November is to boost name recognition and let people know where he stands on the issues.