Elliott challenges Sawyer’s nomination for Tyrrell County sheriff

Published 1:03 pm Thursday, May 24, 2018

Joey Elliott filed a protest against Kevin Sawyer on Tuesday, contending that Sawyer “is not a resident of Tyrrell County such as to allow him to be elected sheriff,” stated county attorney David Clegg.

Sawyer won the Democratic Party nomination for sheriff on May 8 with 360 votes to 246 for Elliott and 208 for Nathan McPeak. No Republican or unaffiliated opposition materialized for  November’s general election.

The Tyrrell County Board of Elections will hold a probable cause hearing at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 25, in the county commissioners’ meeting room at 106 South Water Street, Columbia. The meeting is open to the public.

Friday’s hearing is to determine if Elliott’s protest was “timely filed and procedurally complies with the requirements of the law,” Clegg explained.

The attorney stated that the elections board “will also decide if the protest establishes a factual probable cause that an irregularity occurred such that a full hearing should be convened.”

If the board finds there is no probable cause it will issue a ruling that can be appealed to the State Board of Elections, Clegg advised.

If probable cause is found the county board will move to schedule a full hearing on the matter.

Sawyer listed his mother’s residence on Deweys Pier Road as his home address when he filed for sheriff. He said later he has purchased property near Colonial Beach and intends to build a dwelling house there.

Sawyer also stated on May 8 that his wife and children are currently residing in Washington County.

Sawyer is a sergeant with the Tyrrell County Sheriff’s Office.

Elections director Debbie Swain posted a public notice of Friday’s special meeting on Wednesday.

Tyrrell elections board members are Cecil Lilley (chairman), Debbie Huth, Inetta Knight, and Buddy Swain.