I have struggled over the course of the last few weeks with whether or not it would be of any benefit for me to write as to why I believe Sheriff Charles McDonald should be re-elected by the citizens of Henderson County. There are those who may view my words as self-serving due to my current position as Chief Deputy of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office. That is certainly a reasonable reaction and until recently I felt that anything I said would have little to no effect in the current election season. I have worked very hard to support my Sheriff and my friend, both in the agency and in his campaign. I felt that was the best I could do for him in the situation.

Recently, a good friend of mine reminded me of two things that caused me to reconsider the impact I might make by sharing my feelings about Charlie McDonald. First, what other person has the ability to relate the true character of the man I work for daily better than someone with the access I have? Sheriff McDonald is a man of integrity. That is a word that is too often applied to people without an in-depth understanding of what exactly it means. What is integrity? To me, integrity is making the right decisions because they are right, not because they are easy. The easy thing would be to ignore the fact that your employees do not have the access to life or death training they need because to point that need out would invite the inevitable criticism about a lack of fiscal responsibility. The easy thing would be to overlook character and moral issues in employees in an effort to ensure as few waves as possible in an office that is dependent on electoral success. The easy thing would be to make promises you can’t keep to other agencies or community groups in an effort to win an election, when you know or should know you can’t deliver on those promises. Sheriff Charles McDonald has made it a habit of choosing to do the right thing, not the easy thing. I have watched him agonize over personnel, training and fiscal issues in a way few who have not held executive office can appreciate. He always ends up trying his best to do the right thing no matter how painful it looks for him personally. For those of us who work for him and support him, it has made for a roller coaster of a ride, but one I am proud to have been a part of.

Secondly, I have the unique perspective of one who had an opportunity to leave my position for one without the same high level of political peril incumbent in this job and chose not to. I can honestly say I don’t have to be here going through this election. So why am I? The main reason I decided to stay was because I believe in the vision Sheriff McDonald has for our agency and wanted to do everything I could to ensure that the good work he started is completed. Anyone who understands organizational change knows that it is a long, involved process. It is often a painful one, and the change at the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office has been no exception. When I chose not to leave I knew we would face a hotly contested election, but I truly felt that we had not finished the job. I stayed because I believe Sheriff McDonald when he says he is trying to transform our agency into the gold standard for Sheriff’s Offices in North Carolina. He has proved that to me over the last six years in every decision he has made. It has been difficult, but today I see an agency that can be proud of its accomplishments in serving its community. I see an agency that strives to be the best it can be and is not afraid to try new things. I see an agency that is starting to be held out to others as a model for efficiency and effectiveness in a way I did not see before. In short, I see an agency that has taken on the persona of its leader - forward thinking, progressive, responsive and effective. It is my hope that the citizens of Henderson County can see that as well and will join me in voting for Sheriff Charles S. McDonald to finish the job.

Jason Brown

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I can think of no better individual or professional to represent our district’s schools and law enforcement at the White House than Sheriff Charles McDonald. I’m thrilled that our district had the opportunity to give direct input, straight to the President of the United States, on the issue of keeping our schools, students and teachers safe. I want to thank Sheriff McDonald for making the trip to Washington DC to speak.

Congressman Mark Meadows

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I have known Sheriff Charles McDonald for 23 years and I have been a resident of Henderson County for 24 years. My wife has been an employee of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office for over 20 years. I have managed the Sheriff’s political campaigns since he was appointed in 2012.

What we have here is a man who was willing to come out of retirement to take on a challenge presented by a void in leadership created by his predecessor. Upon taking office, his situational assessments have been spot on. I have watched him make difficult decisions over the past six years. Those decisions are made with a combination of input from those on his staff and finally, prayer. They have been, and always will be, with the best interests of the citizens of Henderson County in mind.

What has troubled me most about this campaign have been the spread of misinformation and personal attacks on my friend, our Sheriff. I have watched him shrug them off and go about his job each and every day. From a campaign standpoint, he encourages us to shrug them off as well.

Let me be clear about one thing, there is no one more qualified to be Sheriff of Henderson County. His 31 years of experience (9 years as an undercover detective and supervisor in Drug Enforcement) qualify him to lead this county’s fight against drugs. His soft target security experience got him a seat at the White House to discuss protecting our schools. Soon, a collaborative Henderson County will lead our state as a model for protecting our children. As a leader, his implementation of an Office of Professional Standards continues to pay dividends, just ask any of the personnel that have worked, trained for, and received promotions. New leaders, down to the rank of Corporal, are being trained every day.

The accomplishments of this agency under the leadership of Sheriff Charles McDonald are impressive, and will continue to grow. I am proud to call Charlie my friend and will be casting my vote for him on May 8th.

Scott J. Larned

Vice President, Marketing (ret.)
Phoenix Special Risk of NC

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I started my career in public service working in a Sheriff’s Office nearly 37 years ago; of that time 25 years were spent as a state trooper where I retired at the rank of Captain. I have spent the last six years proudly serving the citizens of Henderson County. An important reason I continue to work is the vision that Sheriff McDonald has for the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office. Under his leadership the agency has been able to build strong community partnerships with groups like Henderson County Public Schools, Hope RX, Thrive, The Free Clinics, TRIAD, Blue Ridge Literacy Council, Blue Ridge Community College, Blue Ridge Community Health, our local hospitals and many others as we all work together to make our county an even better and safer place to live.

His vision of community helping community has been his desire since first being appointed Sheriff nearly 6 years ago. As these relationships grow and are strengthened, others with the likeminded vision for community and service to others are attracted to a team that has the courage to not be complacent or afraid to take on new challenges by instituting programs to improve the re-entry success of inmates from the jail back into the community. It will take law-enforcement working with community and faith based organizations to help those with substance addiction, mental illness, lack of employment, transportation issues and housing challenges to even have half a chance of making a successful re-entry to our community and reunification with their family.

No single person or group can fix the challenges of those desperately needing help and hope as they leave incarceration. So, on May 8th I ask you to support Sheriff McDonald's vision of working in a collaborative effort with community providers to improve public health, to make our communities safer, and reducing tax payer burden by lowering the recidivism rate of inmates in the Henderson County Jail.

Frank Stout

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Charlie McDonald never had aspirations of becoming the Sheriff of Henderson County. He was an accomplished deputy-outsmarting the criminal, predicting behavior, arresting and convicting the perpetrator to bring justice to crime victims, training deputies and dedicating his life to keep Henderson County a great place to live. He is an introvert who prefers to work quietly and avoid attention. In 2012 when the GOP Executive Committee was seeking someone with leadership and experience to take over as Sheriff during uncertain times, he was approached by several to ask him to consider it. His first instinct was, not interested. He was happily retired with many pursuits to keep him busy. Then his wife Jennie said they should pray about it. God directed them that his answer should be yes. (Isn't it amazing that whenever God calls us to a task, He has already equipped us to succeed in that assignment?) When he was appointed as Sheriff, and then being elected in 2014 by the people of Henderson County, he made promises. He promised a return to integrity and fairness. He promised to take an independent hard look internally at the Sheriff’s Office to repair areas needing improvement. He asked the employees for their input and concerns. They suggested and he implemented: accountability top to bottom, clear expectations, fair processes, high ethical standards and increased training. Internal change was difficult, but the Sheriff was determined to follow through to keep his promises.

He promised crime reduction and improved customer service. He asked: What is the true mission of the Sheriff’s Office? What do the general statutes require of Sheriffs? What can the Sheriff’s Office do differently that will impact our community and reduce crime? Crime statistics were studied. What are the crimes that hurt our citizens most? How can we serve our community more effectively? How can we optimize deputy presence in the schools to keep our schools safe? How can we proactively affect the drug epidemic? Where are crimes happening? What day of the week, time of day? Who is committing the most crimes? Where can we put our resources to make the biggest impact? How can we enhance crime victim response? These questions and more resulted in an ongoing strategic plan and a whole agency focus. Budget decisions and resource allocation is steered by the strategic plan and is data-driven. The results seen have been made because of the ideas, innovations and focus of the Sheriff’s Office team working together and his determined, unwavering leadership.

His 31 years in law enforcement, with 6 years as Sheriff have taught him that most problems facing Henderson County can never be solved by the Sheriff’s Office alone. By the time law enforcement traditionally shows up after a crime – someone has already been hurt - the crime has already been committed. As Sheriff, he has instituted collaboration working with his team, citizens, and agencies of Henderson County to find solutions to prevent crime. What is “causing” the problem? Why do people use drugs? Why do people steal? Why would a child make a school threat? Why is there domestic violence? “Why” matters. He has said “We can keep mopping up the water as the sink overflows, but a better answer is to get the water turned off.” Putting more resources and effort into prevention, community education and assistance to the vulnerable translates into crime reduction, safer schools, healthier families and breaking the jail cycle. Because of this innovative approach, he a leader in partnering extensively with government departments and agencies, churches, non-profit organizations, educators and volunteers to pour effort into those in our community who need help. The Henderson County Jail is becoming a hub of services for inmates to break the jail cycle: education, job skills, housing assistance, wellness, bible study, parenting skills, addiction services, mental health support and access to county services. Consequences from their charges are not affected. The time and energy spent on those who have been arrested will translate into more stable homes for our children and eventually, less recidivism which means fewer crime victims, while also saving taxpayer money in jail costs.

Some have used the word “politician” in a derogatory way to describe our Sheriff. “Politics” is derived from the Greek word “politikos” meaning: "of, for, or relating to citizens". His actions have definitely shown his dedication to the citizens who elected him. I describe him as a humble servant leader who has implemented necessary changes that have enhanced the quality of law enforcement service for the citizens of Henderson County. He has surrounded himself with a command team of proven professionals with years of experience, education and a dedication to our citizens. He is hiring the best quality staff. He has kept his promises and produced results. He doesn't do the easy thing, he does the right thing. He has kept his word. I was proud to cast my vote for continued professionalism, maturity, integrity and innovation. Vote for experience, leadership and results – Vote Charles McDonald for Sheriff."

Glo Nock

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Times-News Letter to the Editor 5/2/18

To The editor: An unexpended vacancy in the office of the sheriff created a crisis in Henderson County. This vacancy was filled by Charlie McDonald. He brought the integrity and leadership needed to rebuild the respect for the Sheriff’s Office.

Through numerous programs, the Sheriff’s Office has developed into a top-notch organization of professional officers second to none! Sheriff McDonald’s leadership and cooperation with other organizations to reduce the number of repeat offenders has the potential of saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

His many years of varied experience in law enforcement as well as the operation of our jail are invaluable and have enabled the efficient operation of this multimillion-dollar department.

One only needs to look at the daily news to realize the diverse challenges law enforcement officers must train for. Sheriff McDonald has the skills, proven leadership and experience to meet these challenges now and in the future.

Henderson County is fortunate to have Charlie McDonald. He has as made a positive impact on Henderson County through school safety, fiscal responsibility and crime reduction, just to name a few. Vote to re-elect Sheriff Charlie McDonald on May 8.

Grady Hawkins, Hendersonville

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Times-News 5/1/18 Letter to the Ediitor

To the editor: The media coverage at the forum for candidates running for sheriff in Henderson County was handled poorly. While attending the forum, I noticed several news stations there, but after the fact, realized there wasn’t sufficient coverage or reports.

Due to this insufficient reporting, I am here to acknowledge that Sheriff Charles McDonald is a vision of trust, loyalty, leadership and professionalism, which he displayed at the forum. Sheriff McDonald did an excellent job, was very professional and was confident enough to address the questions provided with correct information.

There was a favorable turnout for both candidates; however, Lowell Griffin proved to be inaccurate on several accounts, one specifically regarding Bill 287G, which he was extremely unaware of. So as a caring member of this community, I would feel much comfortable if Sheriff McDonald was re-elected as he would continue to protect and serve Henderson County with our best interest.

Dolores Nuss, Hendersonville

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The Steps of a Law Enforcement Leader

I first met Sheriff Charles McDonald in the 1980’s when we were both young officers. After working at the police and sheriff’s departments I was appointed as a United States Probation Officer. I retired from federal service in 2013. I worked alongside Sheriff Charles McDonald for most of my 31 years while we served the residents of Henderson County together. From his early days of policing, Charlie McDonald has always maintained a high level of integrity, with an undisputed reputation for honesty and candor.

During my federal service, I assisted in the federal public corruption investigations of six (6) sheriff’s in WNC counties. Sheriffs are the chief law enforcement officers of the county. For some sheriffs, their conduct and power can seem limitless. The federal criminal justice system is a major safeguard to protect communities from sheriff misconduct. I have seen the devastation caused by “out of control” sheriff’s. In 2012, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office experienced devastation caused by the actions of a former sheriff.

In the midst of this chaos, Charles McDonald was asked to become the Sheriff. He had already retired from law enforcement. It would have been easy to say no. The office was a mess. The outgoing command staff had lost control of the agency by failing to establish moral character in their personal and professional lives. Many in the office were disillusioned by the drama and the lack of moral character by the leadership. They were fearful of their future and anxious about a new sheriff. Charles McDonald understood his calling by God and the opportunity to help the citizens of Henderson County by re-establishing the integrity and respect of the sheriff’s office. During his first week in office, the Sheriff exhibited his personal standards by leading prayer groups while they walked the halls of the Sheriff’s Office. The place was filthy and needed a good cleansing. These were literally the first steps of Sheriff McDonald’s leadership.

Past leadership failures have left deep impressions with Sheriff McDonald. These memories continue to motivate him and his staff to exceed all expectations of honesty, service and integrity. As part of the organization recovery plan in 2012, Sheriff McDonald established the Office of Professional Standards (OPS) to insure fair and impartial hiring practices and promotional processes. The OPS also includes a select group of investigators that perform internal investigations of personnel (Internal Affairs).

Sheriff McDonald understands his God given responsibilities. He models these virtues to his deputies and staff at every opportunity. Although other candidates may have law enforcement and leadership experience, they have not weathered the challenges of restoring a government organization. Since 2012, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office has been revived from the ashes. The overall crime rate in the county has decreased as the professionalism and reputation of the office has increased. These sequence of events, combined with the fortitude displayed by Charles McDonald and his staff, have uniquely and exceptionally qualified him above any other candidate. Sheriff McDonald is a military veteran, and a college graduate. No one is more qualified.

Sheriff McDonald continues to pray while walking forward. Any change in the leadership of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office will be stepping backwards.

Jeff Naber

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Over the past several years I have watched Sheriff Charlie McDonald as he has taken the reins of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department and molded it into an organization that the citizens of Henderson County should be proud of. Our sheriff’s department is truly a shining star for others across our state to aspire to emulate. The level of training, professionalism and integrity on display by our own local deputies speaks for itself and is due to the leadership and vision of Sheriff Charlie McDonald.

I have had the opportunity to speak to and listen to Sheriff Charlie McDonald on several occasions during his active outreach into the community. He is truly a man of pure intentions and has what is best for our county at his heart. The safety of our citizens as well as our own deputies (which are our own sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers) is first amongst his priorities. Sheriff Charlie McDonald is truly a constitutional scholar and takes our precious freedoms provided by our founding fathers extremely seriously. Recently Sheriff McDonald was invited to advise President Donald Trump in person on school safety following the Florida school shooting. He represented Henderson County and the state of North Carolina in the national spotlight in a manner which we can be proud of.

The amount of one sided mudslinging on display in this year’s election cycle is disgusting. Sheriff Charlie McDonald refuses to participate even with the amount of negative exaggeration and flat out lies on display against him. To me this is a strong display of the man’s fortitude and respect for the citizens of Henderson County. Anyone who does not respect another’s right to have a contrary opinion, and chooses to slander and attack their own brethren for their political views in my opinion should not hold the office of Sheriff and be appointed the power and authority associated with the position.

Sheriff Charlie McDonald has earned the opportunity to continue leading the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department toward his vision of professionalism. He has my vote in the upcoming election and I hope he has earned yours as well.

Robert Haynes, Hendersonville NC

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"A lot has happened in a short time with school safety and security. Some have seen these moves as election time promises and tactics, that students are being used as cogs in the political machine. Never once have I questioned Sheriff McDonald’s motives or reasons for acting. Working with Charlie the last 4 years, I have no doubt that the safety of the students of Henderson County is his top priority.

Charlie and his team have been unwavering supporters of the school system and students. The resource deputies in our schools are more than just security guards. They are an integral part of the culture that has been created in each school. I applaud his joint effort with county officials and the school system to ensure a SRD in every school next school year. I also appreciate his attention to the fact that despite needing to fill these positions immediately, he is taking time to be sure he is only hiring the most qualified people to serve as resource deputies in our schools.

It is no secret that we have a nationwide epidemic when it comes to opioid addictions and abuse. In Henderson County, we have been fortunate enough to have a community that gets it and is on board. Our sheriff has been an ardent supporter of efforts to educate the students of Henderson County on the effects of opioids on their community, their families, and their selves. From working closely with the school system “We are Hope” week to ensuring our elementary students have a relevant drug abuse education program (STAR), Charlie understands that education is a proven and effective form of prevention.

In the last six years, I believe Charlie has made a positive impact on Henderson County as a whole. I look forward to his continued partnership with Henderson County School Board and the safety of the students and staff of the system. Whether early voting or on May 8, I hope you will join me in casting your vote for a man I believe will always have the best interest of students in mind, Sheriff Charlie McDonald."

Colby Coren
Henderson County Board of Education Member

*The views expressed above are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Henderson County Board of Public Education as a whole.

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"I retired from the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office after 30 years in law enforcement. I worked alongside Sheriff Charlie McDonald for a majority of those years. He was intelligent and dedicated himself to stellar investigative work that resulted in convictions. He treated me as an equal and respected my contributions and input.

The 31 years of experience he brings to this election cannot be duplicated by anyone. He led the SWAT Team, won awards for his dangerous undercover drug enforcement success and was revered as one of the best tactical instructors ever to teach here. Charlie always understood the value of training to enhance deputy safety and to learn investigative techniques. As Sheriff he has invested much effort towards a well-trained, well prepared agency to effectively serve the citizens of Henderson County. He is building leaders and teamwork.

Charlie brings a unique ability to be able to look at a problem, think outside the box and work with others to find solutions. He seeks employee and citizen input and suggestions. He is dedicated daily to work for his bosses, the people who elected him as Sheriff. I know Sheriff Charlie McDonald personally, the good, the bad and the ugly. He left retirement to take over a Sheriff’s Office looking for a leader and has brought its focus back to public service and crime fighting. He is a genuine lawman who loves God and loves Henderson County. Join me in voting for McDonald for Sheriff. He has more to accomplish for us."

Lt. Vicci Bane (retired)
Henderson Co. Sheriff's Office

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Blue Ridge Now - Letter to the Editor - 4/26/18

To the editor: My husband and I signed up for the Sheriff’s Citizen Academy last year figuring that we would learn a bit about Henderson County and law enforcement in the mountains. We were blown away.

We are blessed with an agency that truly has its act together. Surprising? Yes. But when you meet the man behind the plan and his people, you can’t help but be impressed. Smarts, loyalty, high expectations and a keen sense of what is right all make this a successful endeavor. A lot has been accomplished by Sheriff Charles McDonald since 2012. A lot more will be done when he is re-elected.

Let’s keep moving forward. The momentum is there. Honest and honorable. Do the right thing.

Brenda Thorne, Hendersonville

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Who Is Charles McDonald?

Yes, Sheriff Charles McDonald married my sister Jennie. However, I was the Chief of Detectives when Charlie started as a reserve deputy and then a full-time deputy sheriff. I witnessed his professionalism, attention to detail, commitment to service and a dedication to his fellow officers and community he swore to serve.

I was so impressed that I knew he would be an asset to my criminal investigation team. I approached Sheriff Jackson and shared my views and desires for Charlie to become a detective. Sheriff Jackson agreed with my assessment and promoted Charlie to the Criminal Investigations Division. Shortly after becoming a detective I saw that Charlie had a God given talent towards investigating drug crimes. I moved him from the property crimes section to the drug enforcement unit to work with then Sgt. Jimmy Edney.

Together this dynamic duo of dedicated officers worked tirelessly and at high risk to themselves working undercover in Western North Carolina. They were in very high demand by other counties, due to their tremendous success. In 1988 and again in 1992 they received the Special Award of Honor by the International Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association for outstanding performance, arrests and drug seizures.

Through the years Charlie progressed through the ranks and eventually became a captain and supervising various divisions within the Henderson County Sheriff's Office. I retired in 2006 and Charlie was still serving the community at the sheriff's office. When the sheriff that succeeded me resigned. Charlie had retired at that time and was traveling the world sharing his tremendous amount of experience and skills with law enforcement officers worldwide. He was enjoying life and still serving others.

He called me after the sheriff resigned to seek my input, as he was asked to seek the sheriff's appointment. I was very candid with Charlie and told him that the decision should be based on conversations with his family and lots of prayer. He had many questions regarding being sheriff. I told Charlie that he would find out very quickly how terrible he is as a human being, attacks on him his family and friends would be forthcoming and to prepare himself and them for the inevitable. However, I was emphatic that he not respond, hold his head up high, be proud of who he is and if he was blessed to become the sheriff these tribulations would make him a stronger person. The office requires and demands a strong person that can accept the challenges as well as the successes. Then find solutions to the challenges and build on the successes.

Charlie was blessed to be appointed sheriff and then win a resounding election in 2014. His election in 2014 was a confirmation as to not only who he is and what he has accomplished as our sheriff. It is a testament to the staff he surrounded himself with and their commitment to accept his vision for the office and protection of our wonderful community. True leaders surround themselves with great staff.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat". Speech given by Teddy Roosevelt on April 23, 1910 titled - "Citizen In a Republic" and later named "Man In the arena".

Sheriff Charles McDonald has been in the arena from his undercover days until now. He has grown in the office through the perseverance that it requires. He has represented Henderson County on the regional, state and national stage. He has represented us admirably. We may not agree with every decision or action, but then again we are not in Charlie McDonald's shoes.

Charlie earned every promotion or assignment that he ever received at the Henderson County Sheriff's Office. We promoted him to the position of sheriff by electing him in 2014. Let's keep his promotion by re-electing him to the constitutional office of Henderson County Sheriff.

Sheriff George H. Erwin, Jr. (Retired)
Henderson County
Fletcher, North Carolina

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Posted Apr 21, 2018 at 2:00 AM
Blue Ridge Now, Letter to the Editor

To the editor: Primaries are a very important part of our electoral system because this is the step in which a party selects its candidates. Unfortunately, voter turnout for primaries is traditionally low, resulting in people who didn’t vote often complaining about the quality of the candidates.

I am urging you to vote in the primary on May 8 or early voting starting on April 19 for Sheriff Charles McDonald. Some of the things Sheriff McDonald has accomplished are budget surpluses the last five fiscal years, a reduction in property crimes and other types of crime, increased communication with the community including Town Hall meetings and an increased presence of deputies in schools to supplement full-time school resource deputies. There are many other points to make, but this space is too limited.

Mary Ellen Morrison, Hendersonville

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"I was a Deputy Sheriff for over 28 years and I support Sheriff Charlie McDonald in his effort to remain the Sheriff of Henderson County.

I never heard anyone have a bad comment about him personally or in the way he did his job. He and I never worked together but I often saw him work during qualification time since he was a firearms instructor. He was always calm, respectful and professional in both the classroom and on the firing range. He also took time to give extra instruction and guidance to some that were having trouble qualifying. He was very patient and understanding as he took a personal interest in each deputy that may have been having difficulty.

I hope everyone will vote for Charlie McDonald to remain our Sheriff."

Lt. Benny Pace (retired)
Henderson County Sheriff's Office

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As everyone knows, my Father Raymond R. Freeman (BOB) who owned Freeman’s News Stand was known for Fifty years as “Mr. Republican”. At election time people would pass thru the News Stand and say “Bob who should we support for Sheriff’? I can just hear him now, “I’m supporting Sheriff Charles McDonald” and that’s all it took to have them voting that way also. Sheriff McDonald has been with the Dept. for a number of years. I can remember seeing him when Sheriff Albert Jackson would have his three day Manhunt training sessions up at Dupont and I provided Food Service for them. So I’m just saying, like my Father used to do “I’m supporting Sheriff Charles McDonald”.

Jimmy Freeman

Hendersonville NC

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Dear Sheriff McDonald (Charlie),

I am writing this letter to convey my thoughts and support for your bid for re-election to the office of sheriff for Henderson County.

As you know, I have been known as one who generally does not discuss politics. In all the years you and I have known one another, we have never talked politics. I appreciate this particularly when I consider your position as sheriff of our county. Since the time you have become sheriff, I have come to know you on a much deeper level. I have observed how you have led the sheriff’s department in a stellar manner that has earned the department a reputation our community can be proud of. Your commitment to the community and the profession of law enforcement has served the department and the community well.

It is without reservations that I say our community is fortunate to have a leader such as yourself leading our sheriff’s department. It is my hope that the community realizes this (and I think they do), and will vote to support your endeavor to continue serving our community for the next four years as sheriff. While I have respect for both you and your opponent Lowell Griffin, it is my belief that you have performed your duties as sheriff in a manner deserving of the opportunity to serve our community for the next four years and I wish you every success.

As always I stand ready to assist you in any manner you and your department may require my assistance.

Professionally,

Donnie R. Parks,
Chief of Police (Retired)

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Who is Sheriff Charles McDonald?

Before I ever met or spoke a single word to the man, I decided I was willing to leave a professional policing agency in the area of Chicago, where I was making more money than I can ever make at the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office. Why would I do this?

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Sheriff McDonald’s strategic plan while attending a class in 2015. I was very intrigued by his vision and left the class with some of his ideas. A look at his strategic plan by anyone with an understanding of current trends and strategies in policing would recognize that Sheriff McDonald was a progressive leader in a field that is often playing catch-up. A dissection of his strategic plan will uncover a trail of crumbs leading back to various policing tactics and strategies, such as community policing, problem oriented policing, intelligence led policing, and COMPSTAT, to name a few. I have for many years supported these policing strategies; however I never saw them in writing and transparent for all to see as I found in Sheriff McDonald’s strategic plan. It was bold. I wanted to be part of it. The Sheriff made no secret as to his goals and what he intended to accomplish. The strategic plan was laid out and detailed for all to see. He was holding himself and the organization accountable to the community for results. These types of strategic plans might be found in larger cities, but an organization the size of Henderson County? That’s rare.

Check it out! Don’t take my word for it. Where is policing headed in the 21st Century? Where does research and our policing experts suggest we should be going? How many goal oriented strategic plans as transparent and detailed as Sheriff McDonald’s can you find in Western North Carolina? Need help? Here are some of the organizations law enforcement leaders turn to for guidance on professional, progressive policing procedure: International Chiefs of Police Association www.iacp.org, The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services https://cops.usdoj.gov, Center for Problem Oriented Policing www.popcenter.org/about/?p=whatiscpop, and the Police Executive Research Forum www.policeforum.org . How about executive level training programs that emphasize progressive policing practices, such as the FBI’s National Academy, Southern Police Institute, and Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command? An honest examination of today’s best policing practices and Sheriff McDonald’s vision will show you a progressive leader committed to his community.

I have known Sheriff McDonald now for just over a year. I’ve spent time with him. I’ve seen him when things are going well and when challenges abound. What you will find is a humble man, strong in faith, a man of integrity, who cares for the community he swore to serve and to each and every one of his personnel who took that same oath. Certainly the world isn’t perfect and neither is the Sheriff’s Office. But, Sheriff McDonald continues to push for improvement within the Sheriff’s Office. When there are tough decisions to be made, specifically involving personnel, Sheriff McDonald carries that burden. He doesn’t let tough decisions keep him from making the right decisions. He doesn’t expect anything from his employees that he isn’t willing to do himself.
I have no regrets in joining the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff is the leader I thought he’d be. The Office is also filled with outstanding people who commit themselves daily to serving the residents of Henderson County and I’m honored to be a part of that. No doubt there will be those that say I wrote this because my job was dependent upon it. Those will be the same people that want you to believe Sheriff McDonald is someone other than who he really is. I’d say, stop, examine the evidence, “you will know them by their fruit”. The truth is there to be seen; you just have to take an honest look.

As for Sheriff McDonald; what happens if he loses the election? He and his lovely wife will retire; go enjoy life in peace, being grateful for the opportunity they had to serve the community. It won’t be a loss for the McDonald’s, their faith in God won’t allow for that. Someone will lose though, and that loss will be to the residents of Henderson County.

Captain Dan Terry
Henderson County Sheriff’s Office

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I have been hesitant to say anything on the Henderson County Sheriff’s race. Although I know both candidates I have not communicated with either candidate. Instead, I have chosen to sit back and watch, listen and read the various articles, posts and comments. I am going to break my silence because I see the one campaign engaged in distortions and lies. I have to believe Mr. Griffin is aware of this and approves which makes me question his ability to lead as his campaign rhetoric has been below the dignity of the office he seeks.

I have been in law enforcement for 41 years working 31 full- time and 10 part-time. I have worked under 4 different Chiefs of Police and retiring as Chief of Police here in Hendersonville. Additionally, I have been a deputy under 2 different Sheriff’s. I have known Sheriff Charles McDonald for more than 30 years working with him collaboratively on many occasions for 20 of those years while at the Hendersonville Police Department.

Sheriff McDonald is a good man who has integrity and has brought back professional standards and ethics to the Sheriff’s Office after taking over from a failed Sheriff surrounded in controversy. It has taken time to address all the issues within the department but he placed a strong emphasis on the Professional Standards Unit so that screening of applicants, promotions and disciplinary processes were less biased and were more transparent. Sheriff McDonald developed a strategic plan for the Sheriff’s Office and plans to expand that plan into the future. He stays abreast of the trends in law enforcement and tries to be proactive in getting his deputies current up to date critical training.

Sheriff McDonald and his wife Jennie both have been dedicated public servants throughout their careers. You will never hear either boasting unless it is about the men and women who serve this county. He advocates with our county commissioners, state legislators and federal legislators for the citizens of Henderson County. If you really know him, you know he is a humble person who cares about all his employees’ well-being and desires only the best for them and the citizens of our county.

Sheriff McDonald has run a clean campaign and has not taken the low road. I believe he has tried to emulate a verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:15 “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.”

If you don’t want our Sheriff’s Office to fall back into the pit it was in 6 years ago and you want it to progress professionally, ethically and respectfully developing partnerships in the communities of Henderson County I highly recommend voting for Sheriff Charles McDonald.

John C. Nicholson, Chief of Police retired

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Good evening,

It is my distinct honor to support Sheriff Charles McDonald in his re-election bid for the office of Sheriff of Henderson County. During my time as the State House Representative for District 113, I have had the pleasure of being able to work with Sheriff McDonald on many issues regarding law enforcement, public safety and more recently, school safety. As sheriff of Henderson County, Sheriff McDonald has always put the safety of Henderson County residents first and has maintained a level of integrity and professionalism that all public servants should always strive to maintain. Sheriff McDonald has advocated for the people of Henderson County from the County Seat of Hendersonville to the State Capital in Raleigh and all the way to our nation’s capital in Washington D.C. I am proud to call him a friend and would encourage all Republican and Independent voters of Henderson County to vote for Sheriff McDonald on May 8th.

Sincerely,
Cody

Representative Cody Henson
NC House of Representatives
Transylvania, S. Henderson, Polk Counties
300 N. Salisbury St. Room 537
Raleigh, NC 27603

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My name is Bill Norton. Some of you might remember me as Lt. William Norton. I worked for the Hendersonville Police Department from 1975 until my retirement in 2004. I grew up in Henderson County, went to Edneyville High School and started at the Hendersonville Police Department in January of 1975. I worked about 10 years as a uniformed police officer, then 20 years in criminal and drug investigations. When I first started the police department, I had no clue about the political side of the Sheriff’s Office. I always voted for Sheriff based on who I thought was the best man for the job including experience and leadership ability. I never worried about politics – I had many friends who worked at the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and didn’t care about their political affiliation.

I would like to just make a few comments about the current sheriff primary race, and from what I’m hearing it’s been a wild race. I have been away from Henderson County since 2004, but have stayed in contact with many people in the past 14 years. Charlie McDonald is one of those people.

I worked at the police department as the "Drug Officer" along with a lot of other investigative responsibilities. When I first started drug investigations, I worked in the city limits and the deputies did their work in the county. I knew of Charlie when he was on patrol but never worked with him. I not sure who set up the initial meeting between the departments but it was Jimmy Edney and Charlie McDonald that I met with. The first meeting was an eye opener to me. Charlie had been doing some undercover work in another county and after we met, I was amazed at what those guys were doing. They were in situations that were literally life and death. Charlie tried to teach me some ins and outs of the drug world. A world I had never been exposed to, and I had a lot to learn.

From day one, there was absolutely no politics. Charlie and Jimmy did everything to help me learn what I needed to know and what would keep me alive. Charlie invited me into his home to talk about work and keep me informed.

As time went on, we had the opportunity to work many, many cases together. We investigated cases on a federal level and cases on the local level. We worked cases as a part of a narcotics task force with multiple counties participating. We could see the toll that drug use took on Hendersonville and Henderson County and were determined to do everything in our power to make a difference.

My personal assessment of Charlie McDonald is that he is the kind of guy you would want right beside you in times of trouble. He is the real deal and a true friend. He was a professional, intelligent, well trained, level headed deputy that taught me many things. There were times when agency politics were being pushed on us from others, but Charlie was always the same. He wanted the bad guy taken off the street.

I remember several times when I called Charlie the "referee". He saw the value in departments working together and would arrange for us to have meetings and figure out how to make things work out for the benefit of the people of Henderson County. He negotiated solutions with a mature thought process.

I met a ton of officers during my career and I am going to put Charlie McDonald at the very top of my list as the best of the best. I would trust Charlie with my life. I was very impressed with the way Charlie did business. Always honest, he was one of the hardest working law enforcement officers I ever worked with. He is a lifelong friend to this day. I never once knew Charlie to try to make himself look good. There was absolutely no ego ever involved with him, ever. He gave credit to those he worked with and thanked everyone for their help. I know Charlie as a good Christian man and he has never hidden his dependence on his faith.

I wish I lived in Henderson County to proudly cast my vote for Sheriff Charlie McDonald. You have a great “lawman” that serves you and seeks justice as your Sheriff. I urge you to support him again.

Lt. William Norton (ret.)
Hendersonville Police Department

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We are very fortunate to have a man of impeccable integrity as our Sheriff. It would be a shame to lose his leadership. Unfortunately, he is the subject of a lot of hateful, inaccurate attacks from those on the left posing as conservatives to obtain power. It is a shame when people attempt to discredit a man of such high integrity for their own gain. He has earned our vote because he has earned our respect. Vote for Sheriff McDonald in the Primary on May 8. There is no Democrat challenger after the primary.

Joe Guy
Hendersonville, NC

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I have known Charlie McDonald since he attended BLET. I was the class coordinator and instructor for his class. He impressed me with his serious nature and desire to learn.

Later Charlie and I worked together as we were both drug violation investigators: Charlie with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and me with the State Bureau of Investigation. Again, Charlie was learning as he worked. He was always pressing to become a better detective and officer.

After I got promoted to Assistant Special Agent in Charge our agents worked closely with the Sheriff’s Office SRT of which Charlie was a member. Charlie impressed the Bureau agents and other officers with his knowledge and his drive to do a better job each time we worked together.

When Charlie and Jimmy Edney accepted a deep undercover assignment in McDowell County I was able to give them advice and kept up with their progress as the assignment proceeded. It was a highly successful investigation because of the exceptional dedication of Charlie, Jimmy, and Jerry Rice, who joined the team as the investigation grew.

After I retired from the SBI I was asked to come work for the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office as Professional Standards Detective. In that capacity I had occasion to brief Charlie on matters pertaining to people for whom he was responsible. Again, as I have always expected and known Charlie listened, asked intelligent questions, and took whatever corrective actions he and the Sheriff felt were appropriate.

I’ve worked for both good and not so good bosses. Charlie is in the “best boss” category. If I still lived in Henderson County I would have asked him for a job. The citizens of Henderson County cannot have a better, more professional, more honest, and more responsible person as their Sheriff.

David B. Barnes
NCSI- Western District Special Agent in Charge (Retired)

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I've had many years in business, church life, and community organizations. Sheriff Charles McDonald is both the best leader and the best manager I have ever seen.

Hale Meserow
Hendersonville NC

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Sheriff McDonald is a model of character and commitment in law enforcement and in our greater community. He is a man of integrity and purpose. More importantly, he is a man of faith and a leader of firm principles. I am so very grateful for all he does to serve our wonderful community.

Lisa K Bryant
Hendersonville, NC

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I have gotten to know Sheriff McDonald well since my election to Congress in 2012. I know his commitment to honor and service. His record alone, qualifies him to serve another term. I hope that the citizens of Henderson County will return this proven leader to office.

Congressman Mark Meadows

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Sheriff McDonald's commitment to professional standards and expectations have made Henderson County Sheriffs Office a professional organization dedicated to accountability and service to the citizens of our county. Throughout law enforcement, change is met with resistance because people become comfortable with "the way it has always been done." Sheriff McDonald has challenged "the way it has always been done" mentality and nay sayers have disagreed, many expressing half-truths and information that does not represent the true process in place. In order to affect organizational change individuals who are leaders throughout the organization must be committed to the expectations and standards set for leaders within the agency and exemplify those expectations through their own leadership. Change produces uncertainty, but Sheriff Charles McDonald has remained steadfast in his commitment to professionalism and accountability. Sheriff McDonald has communicated expectations and held all staff accountable. Sheriff McDonald has lead through example by doing the right thing when no one is looking. The right thing for the people of Henderson County.

I encourage all citizens of Henderson County to vote for the most qualified, professional, and committed candidate for the Office of Sheriff in our county, Sheriff Charles S. McDonald. A vote for Sheriff McDonald is a vote for professionalism, commitment, values, service, and accountability!

Chris Anderson   

Hendersonville NC                                                                                                                                ______________________________

I am so happy Sheriff McDonald filed for re-election today. I have known Charlie personally for over 30 years and can endorse him with no reservations.

I admire Charlie for many reasons. He loves follows and seeks the face of God. He is the real deal. He prays. He reads THE WORD. He asks for God’s direction and discernment. He puts God first in his life and in his position as Sheriff. Prayers happen at the Sheriff’s Office-it is encouraged and supported.

He loves his wife. Very seldom have I met a man who dedicates himself to his wife and marriage more than Charlie.

The Sheriff is a leader with expansive experience. Sheriff Jackson recognized him as a leader very early in his career and he held numerous leadership positions through his career. (Patrol, SWAT, Firearms Instructor, Warrant Squad, Criminal Investigations, Jail Captain, Public Information Officer, Undercover Drug Agent, Task Force Agent, and now 6 years as Sheriff). To be an effective Sheriff in today’s world, varied experience is required. You must know about so many things.

The Sheriff has a vision. Charlie met with me for coffee when he was first considering putting his name in the hat for Sheriff. On that day in early 2012, he already knew where he saw the Sheriff’s Office going under his leadership. He talked about his passion for having all of Henderson County prepared for emergencies, neighbors helping neighbors, working with other agencies. He talked about making the Sheriff’s Office and Henderson County a model for others to emulate.

He cares about the Sheriff’s Office and its people. I have seen him fight for increases in salaries, set out understandable expectations, increased employee participation in decision making, asked for employee opinions, increased and relevant training, fairness in promotions and transfers and have personally seen him give grace and extend second chances to many employees. He listens. I’ve seen him agonize over difficult decisions. He equips leaders with valuable training. In the past when someone received “rank”, their responsibilities were unclear and they may have received no additional training or support. Now there is a specific training plan to prepare supervisors. There are weekly devotions, marriage conferences for couples to attend, a marriage seminar and dinner, employee picnics and employee recognitions. There is training for peers to help peers. Female employees are valued and are given an equal chance at promotions. The playing field for the first time is level. In my career, Sheriff McDonald always supported me, assisted me and encouraged me. My opinions were valued and still are. He is a servant leader that wants to invest in the people who serve us every day.

He cares about the people of Henderson County. He cares about justice for crime victims. I have seen him go into a neighborhood traumatized by violence, to connect them to Mud Creek Church counseling services and to check on them. I have seen him shed tears over a rape victim. I’ve seen him pray with employees and citizens. He left retirement behind to serve us 24/7 365.

He wants Henderson County to be served by the best trained, proactive, most responsive law enforcement. He is focused on crime reduction & hates drugs. Then and now, the Sheriff has fought crime. Crime has decreased to new lows under his leadership. He was an award winning deputy and undercover drug agent who risked his life to fight the drug problem. As Sheriff, he has focused the whole agency back to the basics of proactive crime fighting and fighting drugs. He understands that you must have the whole county and every single person on board to help in this fight. He has put more resources towards prevention, education, enforcement and reducing recidivism. He hired several supervisors with extensive Drug Enforcement Agency experience. New community partnerships are being made to help those incarcerated in our jail. This outside the box thinking is making a difference. He understands that by helping these inmates overcome their obstacles and not return to jail, our community will have less crime victims, that families will benefit and children will have more stable and positive homes.

We have a proven Sheriff. He has made promises and has delivered. He has learned and gained experience as Sheriff. He can see the big picture and get things accomplished. He has done a great job and what he has accomplished in 6 years is astonishing. He is a good man. I personally cannot imagine what he and Jennie have given up to serve Henderson County. I pray for them and thank them. If any of you want to meet the Sheriff or ask him any questions, contact the campaign or come to one of his events. I will be voting for Sheriff McDonald. I ask you to support him too.

Gloria J. Nock
Flat Rock, NC

 ______________________________

Re-elect McDonald

To the editor, Times-News:

Where is there a man to meet the needs that the citizens of Henderson County require to keep them safe and informed? We need a man who will:

· Develop Henderson County Sheriff’s Office leaders to be accountable and well-trained

· Be able to deal with the drug abuse epidemic

· Keep our children safe from drugs, drug abuse and crime

· Keep our citizens safe from domestic violence

· Ensure that citizens have the necessary knowledge and education about disaster response, community preparedness, and law enforcement services and protection provided by the HCSO

The man to meet these needs is the man we already have. Let’s re-elect Charles McDonald for sheriff.

Sue Meserow

Hendersonville

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NRA-PVF
National Rifle Association of America
Political Victory Fund

October 10, 2014

The Honorable Charles McDonald
Dear Sheriff McDonald,
Congratulations! You have been endorsed by the National Rifle Association – Political Victory Fund for the General election in 2014. Your strong support for the Second Amendment and NRA key issues, including repealing the outdated permit to purchase requirement for handgun transfers and pledging to sign all applications for the transfer of NFA regulated items when the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving them are greatly appreciated.
On behalf of the NRA members in North Carolina, please accept my best wishes for success on November 4th!
Please feel free to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
Anthony Roulette
North Carolina State Liaison

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"Character, not circumstances makes the man" - Booker T. Washington. Sheriff Charles McDonald did not seek the position of sheriff. He was asked to step forward at a troubling time at the sheriff's office. The sheriff has shown tremendous commitment, dedication and perseverance to re-establish the respect and integrity that the Henderson County Sheriff's Office once had.

The circumstances surrounding his ascension to the position of sheriff is not what made Charles S. McDonald...It is his character. There are those that want to look to the past and re-establish the old ways. There is a saying "When you look to the past you turn your back on the future". Sheriff McDonald has a well thought out vision for the sheriff's office and a commitment to make the vision become a reality....Of course leaders always do!

Sheriff George H. Erwin, Jr. (Retired)
Henderson County
Fletcher, North Carolina

 ____________________________

I have known Charlie McDonald for many years and have always found him to be professional, sincere, and competent. I am pleased to endorse him for Sheriff.

Stan Shelley
Hendersonville, North Carolina

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"Tea Party Names Endorsements for Sheriff, County Commission"                                                                                  Published March 31, 2014 | By Bill Moss, Hendersonville Lightning

The Asheville Tea Party has endorsed Henderson County Sheriff Charlie McDonald and Henderson County Board of Commissioners candidate Andrew Riddle in the May 6 primary election. It also endorsed Richard Lynch, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry in the Republican primary for the 10th Congressional District. 

The Asheville Tea PAC makes endorsements through a candidate vetting process called iCaucus based on principles of individual rights, limited government, fiscal responsibility and free markets, the group said in a news release. McDonald received the iCaucus endorsement with 62 percent of the vote, the Asheville Tea Party said.  McDonald, who was appointed as sheriff in March 2012, faces fellow Republicans Michael Brown and Erik Summey in the May 6 primary. Riddle faces incumbent Commissioner Michael Edney and Hogan Corn in the Republican primary.

The Tea Party has also endorsed Bob Hunter, in the state Supreme Court race; Bill Southern, for state Court of Appeals; Mark Martin, for chief justice of the state Supreme Court; Lynch, a Belmont businessman who ran for governor of New Jersey in 1993 and is running to McHenry's right in the 10th Congressional District; U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, in the 11th Congressional District; and state Rep. Chris Whitmire, in House District 113.

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I am proud to be a volunteer for the Henderson County Sheriff's Department. I work with a great group of volunteers and have had the pleasure to speak with many deputies who come into the courthouse.

Through conversations with volunteers and deputies, all I hear is praise while talking about Sheriff McDonald. He is doing a fantastic job now, as he has since becoming Sheriff. Why would we not re-elect an honest, well-liked and well-respected Sheriff.

During the primary election I walked numerous hours handing out rack cards to inform citizens why Sheriff McDonald should be elected. I also had the opportunity to talk to many of the residents of Henderson County and the praise they gave for Sheriff McDonald was overwhelming.

Let's re-elect Sheriff McDonald so we can keep Henderson County a safe place to live.

Dawn Nuss, Henderson County Sheriff's Office Volunteer

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10/12/14 Times-News, Letter to the Editor

When we talk about experience, we are talking about Sheriff Charles McDonald's 27 years of service as a detective, drug agent, lieutenant in charge of training and career development, chief of investigations, captain over the detention center, public information officer and internal affairs investigator.

During much of his career, McDonald was a member of SWAT and the SWAT team leader as well as a N.C. general and firearms instructor. Included in his experience is counterterrorism, crisis response and tactical command training and planning.

He has utilized his in-depth knowledge of the daily operations of our Sheriff's Office to efficiently provide quality services to the residents of Henderson County, a community he knows and loves and raised his family in.

With the completion of the relocation of the 911 center, our county will have enhanced emergency communications with state of the art equipment.

Sheriff McDonald's proven experience, leadership and qualifications will ensure the continued quality law enforcement our county residents demand. Visit his website at www.electsheriffmcdonald.com for additional information. When you vote in this critical election, vote for Sheriff Charles McDonald's unprecedented experience and qualifications.

Grady Hawkins
Hendersonville

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On behalf of NRA members in Henderson County, I am pleased to announce your NRA-PVF endorsement for the 2014 Primary Election. This endorsement is a reflection of your support on Second Amendment issues and your responses to the NRA-PVF sheriff candidate questionnaire. We especially appreciate your support for repeal of the Handgun Permit-to-Purchase since that is a very important state legislative priority for us this year. Our members will interpret your endorsement as being a solid pro-gun/pro-hunting candidate who is an advocate for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Anthony Rote
North Carolina State Liaison
NRA-ILA State and Local Affairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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