By DEUCE NIVEN
Lewis Hatcher now has opposition in his bid to remain Sheriff of Columbus County.
Mike Edwards of Bolton, a former sheriff’s deputy and until today an auxiliary member of the Tabor City Police Department, has qualified to run as an unaffiliated candidate in the sheriff’s race, Columbus County Board of Elections Supervisor Carla Strickland said.
Board of Elections members certified Edwards’ petition with 1,568 valid signatures, Strickland said. At least 1,481 signatures were needed, four percent of the county’s registered voters as of Jan. 1, she said.
Edwards presented petitions with 1,816 signatures, Strickland said, but not all who signed were qualified voters. Those who were not will be sent information on how to register, she said.
Edwards resigned his unpaid position on the Tabor City police force Tuesday to pursue his campaign, Capt. Russell Conway said.
Hatcher was appointed sheriff in January, after Chris Batten resigned to take a state job, and easily won Democratic nomination in the May primary. No Republican filed for the office.