Incumbent Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis Wright will move on to face a Republican challenger in the November general election, according to unofficial results from Tuesday night’s primary election.
Wright beat challenger Lester Lowe in the Democrat primary, earning 16,340 votes to Lowe’s 4,689. Wright could not be reached for comment.
Primary Results 2022: See live vote counts as totals are reported Election NIght
He will face LaRue Windham in the November general election. Windham, who also has law enforcement experience, is the only Republican in the race.
According to Wright’s campaign website, he is a Fayetteville native and graduated from Terry Sanford High School, where he played basketball.
Wright served in the Army and as a squad leader, platoon sergeant and drill sergeant, before starting his law enforcement career with the Spring Lake Police Department in 1994, according to his campaign’s website.
Three years later Wright joined the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy, followed by being a member of the motors unit and deputy commander and commander in the operations division.
Wright was chief deputy under former Sheriff Earl “Moose Butler and was appointed to become sheriff after Butler’s retirement in 2017.
He was elected as Cumberland County’s first Black sheriff in November 2018.
Windham’s Facebook campaign page does not provide many details, but according to his LinkedIn page, he is a probation parole officer for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Division of Adult Corrections and Juvenile Justice.
The LinkedIn page says before he joined the state agency, he previously served as a deputy operations commander for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, from 1988 until 2008. This is his second bid for sheriff.
In a 2018 interview, Windham was transparent about a double-dipping scandal in which he and another deputy were accused of getting paid for working off-duty security jobs for the Crown Center and the school system at overlapping times and locations.
Windham initially retired but was later terminated by then-Sheriff Moose Butler.
Windham was cleared of any wrongdoing by former district attorney, the late Ed Grannis, after county and state investigators could not prove he knowingly broke the law.
Previous Coverage: Cumberland County sheriff faces challenger in Democratic primary
Staff writer Rachael Riley can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3528
This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Cumberland County Sheriff results: Incumbent Ennis Wright wins primary