GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers won the Democratic primary on Tuesday night and will face off against a former deputy, Republican Phil Byrd, on Nov. 8.
Rogers, completing his first term as sheriff, received around 58% of the vote to beat two challengers in the Democratic primary. Byrd received around 43% in the 6-person Republican race, nosing out Billy Queen.
Theronn Phipps (31%) trailed Rogers, followed by Juan Monjaras, with about 12% of the vote.
Queen received around 31% among Republicans. followed by Randy Powers, E.L. Melvin, William White and Adam Moore, who earned about 10%, 9%, 5% and 2% of the vote, respectively.
The results are unofficial and incomplete until all mail-in ballots are received and counted and the results certified by local and state election officials.
In 2018, Rogers pulled an astounding electoral upset, ousting powerful Republican Sheriff BJ Barnes in Guilford County. Rogers had an extensive background in law enforcement, but Barnes had been sheriff for nearly 25 years. Rogers won by about 10,000 votes.
During his tenure, Rogers has faced the same issues that many of his peers have faced: higher crime rates during and after the pandemic and a less trustful public in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a policeman in Minneapolis and volatile other officer-involved shootings.
“I feel that being the sheriff of Guilford County for the past 3.5 years I have obtained a substantial amount of knowledge in the area of leadership and built community trust by engaging with citizens of all ethnicities,” Rogers said. He said the primary was important “to give the citizens the chance to select the candidate that they feel is more suited for the position regardless of their differences and stances.”
Byrd is a 30-year veteran as a deputy sheriff who rose through the ranks to the level of captain in the sheriff’s office. And he touts varied experience as both a deputy and a supervisor.
He said the keys to lowering the crime rate in Guilford County are based on retaining officers, leadership from the sheriff and “proactive strategies that work are about communications, data and predictability factors, along with rapid intervention and arrest of individuals. These strategies only work if they are communicated and accepted from the top to the bottom of the command structure. “
In other races for sheriff
Yadkin County: Challenger Nick Smitherman of East Bend upset incumbent Sheriff Ricky Oliver of Yadkinville in the Republican race. Smitherman took 54.17% of the 8,378 votes cast.
Davidson County: Sheriff Richie Simmons, a Republican, will return, having received 78.55% of the vote against challenger Mike James of Denton.
Davie County: Sheriff J.D. Hartman, a Republican from Mocksville, took 58.67% in beating Jimmy Staley (37.55% and Mark Howell (3.7%), both of Mocksville.
Montgomery County: Republican Pete Heron of Troy is the new sheriff, beating Jamie Kerney of Troy, 60% to 40%, for the open seat.
Randolph County: Sheriff Gregory Seabolt of Denton got 51.18% to beat back challengers Tim Hasty of Randleman (33.67%) and Robert Graves of Asheboro (15.15%) in the Republican primary. He faces Sean Walker, a Democrat from Sophia.
Stokes County: Incumbent Sheriff Joey Lemons of Walnut Cove took 76.86% to rebuff challenger Jason Tuttle of King.
Wilkes County: Incumbent Sheriff Chris Shew, a Republican from Wilkesboro, took 66.01% of the vote against challenger Eric L. Boyd of Moravian Falls.
Sheriff’s races set for November
Alamance County: Sheriff Terry Johnson, a Republican incumbent, will face Democrat Kelly T. White of Burlington.
Forsyth County: Incumbent Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough Jr. of Clemmons, a Democrat, will be challenged by Ernie Leyba, a Republican from Winston-Salem.
Rockingham County: Incumbent Sam Page, a Republican from Eden, will be opposed by Democrat Tyrone Scales of Eden.
Alleghany County: Sheriff Bryan Maines, a Democrat from Sparta.
Caswell County: Sheriff Tony Durden, a Democrat from Pelham.
Surry County: Sheriff Steve Hiatt, a Republican from Mount Airy.