KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Jackie Rogers, the Republican candidate for Lenoir County sheriff, beat Democrat incumbent Ronnie Ingram in Tuesday’s election. Now, Rogers said he doesn’t want to waste any time and has straightforward plans of what his next steps are since he’s officially elected sheriff of Lenoir County.

Rogers said up until the election results, he was feeling anxious.

“We didn’t know what the outcome was. We were going to put our best foot forward and, you know, we will give it a shot,” said Rogers. “We will want to do our best. I’m a competitor, you know, I’m 100% and all the time.”

He said putting their best foot forward and giving it a shot ultimately paid off. Some of Rogers’ priorities when it comes to being sheriff are creating an open, transparent and approachable relationship with Lenoir County in an effort to reduce crime, building a protective law enforcement agency that will target drug and gun violence and fostering an environment within the sheriff’s department that builds morale and is supportive of all employees.

Rogers plans to jump right into his new role.

“I want to go into the office and evaluate the personnel issues and then I want to address the issues that I ran on. The drug issues, the gun, gang violence, the other violent activity that is happening in Lenoir County. And I want to address them right to start with,” said Rogers.

On Thursday, current sheriff Ronnie Ingram posted his appreciation on Facebook and wished Rogers the best.

Rogers was born and raised in Lenoir County. He has a background in law enforcement. His first job was with the Kinston Police Department. Rogers retired from being an NC State Highway Patrol trooper after 30 years of service. Now, it’s his goal to be a leader in Lenoir County with his new title.

“We hope to put in place some things to make our county safe,” Rogers said. “It’s important to me to go out and work every day and leave from the front and not ask anybody to do anything I wouldn’t do, and get the job done.”

Rogers said they had a long election year and are excited to be able to now get to work.