• 50°

Keech seeking sheriff’s position as Constitution Party candidate

There’s a new candidate for Beaufort County sheriff in town.

On Thursday, Tony Keech Jr. filed the needed documents to be placed on the ballot for the Nov. 6 general election. He filed as Constitution Party of North Carolina candidate, the first such candidate from Beaufort County. The party held its nominating convention in Charlotte on Saturday. It nominated 10 candidates for various positions across the state.

Keech attended the convention. He’s signed the party’s core-values pledge.

Keech said the party’s seven core values reflect his beliefs. “I live my life with Christian values. They (core values) go along with the Ten Commandments and my Christian values,” Keech said Thursday at the Beaufort County Board of Elections, where he was obtaining information regarding his campaign-spending account and providing the board copies of the documents he filed in at the N.C. State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement.

The state party’s website lists these seven core values of the party: sanctity of life, religious freedom, traditional family, private-property rights, support for the Second Amendment, anti-socialism and national sovereignty.

“Currently, I think I’m the only one,” Keech said Thursday afternoon about being the first Beaufort County resident to seek office as a Constitution Party candidate.

The N.C. State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement certified the party at the board’s June 6 meeting.

In 2010 and 2012, Keech, then registered as a Republican, unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners. He’s never run before as candidate for Beaufort County Sheriff. Currently, Keech works as an investigator with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Keech began his career in law enforcement with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, and then went to work with the state’s probation/parole system. While at the sheriff’s office, he began working with the U.S. Marshals Service as a security officer with the Eastern District Office of North Carolina. He’s still working for the service on a part-time basis. He also worked with the Williamston Police Department as a reserve officer while he was with probation/parole. He remains a reserve officer with the Williamston Police Department.

Keech also operated private business after leaving probation/parole. He returned to law enforcement, working at Beaufort County Community College. Currently, he owns a private business.

North Carolina officially recognizes these political parties: Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green and Constitution. The Green Party was recognized earlier this year. It’s expected to conduct a convention this summer to nominate candidates for the fall elections.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

email author More by Mike