Race develops for Northampton Sheriff

Published 10:36 am Wednesday, June 23, 2010

JACKSON — A race for Northampton County Sheriff seems to be on after all.

Last week, Tommy Byrum Sr. of Pendleton filed as an unaffiliated candidate.

Northampton County Board of Elections Director Susie Squire said Byrum needed four percent of registered voters to sign a petition in order for him to file his candidacy.

Squire said Byrum needed 581 signatures of the 14,580 registered voters in the county.

Last week, Byrum completed the task with 744 signatures, 602 of which were valid. Byrum said he was able get those signatures within two weeks.

The 17-year law enforcement veteran said he decided to run for sheriff in reaction to crime and law enforcement response time.

Byrum said break-ins are on the rise and drugs have become a huge problem in the county.

“There’s hardly anything being done about it,” he said.

He said he has spoken to people who refuse to go to bed a night, fearful of someone breaking into their home.

Byrum said he has worked with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office when Frank Outland was in office. He also worked eight years with Conway Police Department and also farmed.

Byrum said he will be having fundraisers for his campaign.

“I hope people consider me for Sheriff,” he said. “I think I can make a big improvement.”

In November, Byrum will go head to head with incumbent Sheriff Wardie Vincent.