A longtime sheriff faced two fellow Republicans in Sullivan County’s primary election, both with extensive law enforcement backgrounds of their own.
Sheriff Wayne Anderson has been Sullivan County’s top lawman for twenty years. The winner will face tough issues like jail overcrowding and how to combat Northeast Tennessee’s opioid epidemic.
In the republican primary, Anderson faced Joe Earles, a 30-year veteran with the Kingsport Police Department, and Matt Austin, who is the current Operations Major/Deputy Chief of the Bristol Tennessee Police Department.
With fifty percent of the vote, Wayne Anderson won the Republican primary.
“I just feel great, and I really appreciate the voters getting out today and voting for me, I mean that’s kind of like getting a report card and they gave me all A’s,” Anderson said.
We asked him what he thinks the biggest priority is moving forward for the next Sullivan County sheriff. Anderson said, “I think, in my opinion, I think the jail expansion is going to be the biggest priority because we’re already overcrowded and that’s going to solve overcrowding for a while, but hopefully we can get some other programs in there and cut down on the recidivism. That’s the most important thing. If we can cut back on that, this will just be an expansion and not on and on and on, so that’s what I want to do,” Anderson said.
There are no Democratic candidates in the race for Sullivan County Sheriff. The winner from Tuesday’s primary will face Independent candidate Jeff Cassidy in the August election.
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