KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – With election day just a couple of months away, several communities are getting to know their candidates better.
The Kinston-Lenoir Chamber of Commerce held a debate Wednesday for people to learn more about their sheriff candidates, current sheriff Ronnie Ingram and Jackie Rogers.
“It’s always nice to come out and meet with the public,” Ingram said. “A lot of people have questions and things they want to ask about things that are on their mind.”
“I think the citizens of Lenoir County are very concerned about the sheriff’s race,” Rogers said. “They want to get involved and know more and more about the candidates.
David Sawyer, WNCT meteorologist, moderated the debate. There were questions about leadership qualities, budgeting, school safety and staffing shortages.
“Staffing would be my major priority,” Rogers said during the debate. “I would get the staffing up to par so we would be full at the sheriff’s office.”
Ingram said getting more staff is a priority at the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office.
“We’re still working on staffing,” he said. “The county has implemented a pay plan, and we have a pay adjustment just this month. Another one supposedly coming in January. So these things are going a long way toward getting the pay where it needs to be.”
Rogers said if elected, he wants to make safer communities.
“Drugs are a major issue,” Rogers said. “We are having violent crimes in the county. We are having an issue with overdoses. We will have a county-wide drug team that is going after the drug houses.”
Ingram said he hopes to continue some of the programs they have in place now while strengthening others.
“One of the questions brought up they are talking about cameras, those are things we already have, we are just seeing those things completed,” Ingram said. “Also we’re working on getting tablets for inmates in the jail, so we don’t have to have physical mail coming in. There are a lot of things in place that have already been worked on that we’d like to see finished.”
Both candidates said no matter who you vote for, it’s important to vote in November. This year’s election day is Nov. 8.