PENDER COUNTY — The race for Pender County Sheriff is filling up fast; so far, six candidates have announced their intentions of running and filling the space which will be vacated by current Sheriff Carson Smith.
Smith will instead be running to fill the space of Chris Millis in the State House, who stepped down from his position in September.
While candidates cannot officially file their candidacy with the North Carolina Board of Elections until Feb. 12, announcements have been made by several potential candidates.
Cutler is a native of Pender County and is from Scotts Hill. He began his work in law enforcement in 1990 with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office.
After four years, Cutler transitioned to the North Carolina Highway Patrol and has served as a trooper since 1995.
“I am humbled and blessed at the outpouring of support I have received leading up to my announcement. It has been a privilege serving the citizens of Pender County over the course of my 30-year career and I look forward to continuing that service in a different capacity,” Cutler said in a press release.
Spivey has worked for New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office for nine years and began his career working in the New Hanover County Correctional Center.
“I started in the jail when I was hired by the Sheriff’s Office. Which I worked in a variety of positions within the jail. I was transferred to patrol as a patrol deputy and worked in each district of the county. I was later transferred to the S.A.F.E unit where motor vehicle law is strictly enforced along with DWI offense,” Spivey said in a social media post.
Spivey also served on the Wilmington Police Department’s Housing Task Force.
“The team was responsible for ensuring safety for both (residents and guests) while in the public housing community. Street level drug charges were enforced along with gang activity and all other criminal behavior,” he said.
Cina is a former Lieutenant with New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and current small business owner in Pender County. He announced his intention to run for the position soon after Smith announced his intention to run for State House.
He is the husband of a New Hanover County sheriff’s deputy and has more than 16 years of full-time law enforcement experience with Wilmington Police Department as well as the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.
Cina has served as a Lieutenant at New Hanover County Jail and New Hanover County courts. He was a sergeant of the school resource officers, the Downtown Joint Task Force, Uniform Patrol, Bike Patrol and the Housing Joint Task Force, according to a press release.
Cina is a certified as a general instructor with specializations in firearms, physical fitness and active shooter and is also certified to teach the Detention Officer Certification Course. He is currently appointed as a volunteer on the Board of Directors for the N.C. Juvenile Crime Prevention Committee, the Pender County Tourism Development Authority and the Cape Fear Fair and Expo.
Burton started his public service at the age of 18, when he served with the New Hanover County EMS in 1986. At age 21, Burton became a sworn deputy with the Pender County Sheriff’s Officer, in which he served until 1991.
In 1991, Burton began working for the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and worked in patrol, vice, narcotics, and the S.A.F.E division. After working for NHCSO, Burton took a job with the Wilmington Fire Department.
“At the age of 31 I took a position as a firefighter with the Wilmington Fire Department that also made me a third-generation firefighter after my grandfather and father before me,” Burton said in a press release.
Burton announced his retirement from WFD effective at the end of January, and instead has decided to run for Pender County Sheriff.
“Maintaining my sworn status as a law enforcement officer and deputy sheriff for the past 30 years has been truly a blessing. I have taken the first steps in becoming a candidate for the office of Sheriff of Pender County for the 2018 election process. I am both humbled and excited for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Pender County and lead the fine men and women of the Pender County Sheriff’s Office if elected,” he said.
Chester L. Ward
Chester L. Ward has served as a Pender County Sheriff’s deputy for just over two decades. He also served as a Pender County Commissioner from 2010 – 2014.
“I’m humbled to announce my intention of running for the Office of Sheriff, not simply for
the sake of the title ‘sheriff’; but, for the families and friends who I have shared many
great moments with during my years in law enforcement. I have been a part of this
great county since my younger years and began serving the community by working in
the public school system as a school bus driver and later being elected to the county
board,” Ward wrote in a release.
According to Ward, “(o)ur society faces a huge crisis that is destroying our communities and families such as: drugs, criminals who have no respect for people or property, and fear of safety in our own communities. In addition, we now encounter people having lack of trust and respect to law enforcement.”
Ward said, if elected, he hopes to “build relationships that will re-establish trust and regain respect to local law enforcement. This will ensure others have no reason to second guess our sheriff’s office.”
Brown started his career in public service in 1995 when he was sworn in as a Pender County Sheriff’s Deputy, he has maintained his sworn status under two sheriffs, the late Mike Harvell and Smith.
“To run for the Sheriff of Pender County has been something I have prayed and thought about for years. With the support of my family, friends, Annette Applewhite, my campaign manager, and my entire Campaign Committee the time is now for this opportunity,” Brown said in a statement.