MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

Voters react to Henderson County sheriff's race

When the final votes from Tuesday's primary election were tallied, incumbent Henderson County Sheriff Charles McDonald had been unseated by Lowell Griffin, who once worked for the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

When the final votes from Tuesday's primary election were tallied, incumbent Henderson County Sheriff Charles McDonald had been unseated.

Sheriff-elect Lowell Griffin, who once worked for the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and now works for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, beat McDonald by 2,000 votes. More than 12,000 people voted in the race.

"I'm very happy that Sheriff McDonald has not been re-elected," said Terry Neal, who lives in Laurel Park. "One of the reasons is he took the scanner network away from the public, and everything went digital, so people could no longer listen to the police scanner radio. I'm hoping the new sheriff will bring that back."

Neal said for him, it goes to transparency in what the department is working on.

For Linda Laughter, it was more than that.

"Sheriff McDonald has big ideas, bigger than we need for our county," Laughter said. "We do not need the law enforcement center he was wanting to build."

Unlike the outgoing sheriff, Griffin supports the idea of body cameras for the department, and he said he plans to go to county commissioners for funding. Regarding the federal 287(g) program that has deputies help identify undocumented immigrants who are arrested on county charges, Griffin said he has concerns.

"I am going to have to look into that in detail," Griffin said. "We have a lot of folks in this area that have come here looking for a better way of life. They are paramount to the economy of Henderson County as a whole, so I don't want to use it as a punitive measure to intimidate anyone in the county."

Griffin supports plans for more school resource officers and said increased red-tape inside the department will also be reviewed when he takes over in December.

He said hundreds of people -- from regular residents to officers -- approached him to run for sheriff.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off

Trending