Help-wanted: new top lawman for Haywood County

Those vying to be the next sheriff of Haywood County have until 2 p.m. Jan. 17 to get their applications turned in.

Haywood Sheriff Bobby Suttles is stepping down with two years left to go on his term. Because Suttles is a Democrat, the Democratic Party gets to appoint a successor to serve out the remaining two years. Suttles’ last day is Feb. 8.

So far, Chief Deputy Larry Bryson, second in command at the sheriff’s office currently, has publicly said he will seek the appointment. N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Lt. Greg Christopher is expected to announce soon whether he will submit his name also.

An interesting twist is the announcement last week by a Republican contender for the seat. Bill Wilke, a sergeant with the Asheville Police Department who ran for sheriff against Suttles in 2010, will formally seek the appointment.

It could be a long shot, especially given the language in a press release issued by the Haywood Democrats calling for applications stated “Democratic candidates for the office of Haywood County Sheriff” may now pick up an ‘Intent to Run’ form … , a testament to the low probability a Republican would win the Democratic Party’s nod.

The Haywood County Democratic Executive Committee will hold a meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 14, at the Democratic headquarters to discuss the process for naming a replacement. Those seeking the office can call 828.456.4942 or 828.734.9056 for details on how to apply.

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