One 2014 political campaign already heats up

Aug. 23, 2013 @ 08:00 PM

It’s nine months before Randolph County voters go to the polls in the Republican primary, and well over a year until the 2014 general election, but a challenger to Sheriff Maynard Reid already is in full campaign mode.
Eric Hicks of Trinity, a former Randolph County deputy who now works for the Thomasville Police Department, said he believes that he can bring fresh ideas and leadership to the Sheriff’s Office that Reid has run for seven and a half years. 
Hicks told The High Point Enterprise that he started his Republican campaign early, realizing that unseating an incumbent in a primary is one of the most difficult feats to pull off in politics.
“Everybody I talk to says I have an uphill battle,” he said.
But the 30-year-old law enforcement officer said he believes a grassroots, door-to-door campaign can convince voters to give someone with fresh ideas a chance to lead law enforcement in the county.
The primary election will take place May 6. GOP primaries are critically important in Randolph County because it’s so solidly Republican that most races are decided then, as opposed to the fall general election. No Democrat has been elected to a partisan office in Randolph County in more than 30 years.
Hicks worked for the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office for two years during the end of the last term of former sheriff Litchard Hurley in 2004-06. He’s served as a Thomasville police officer since then. Hicks, who is making his first bid for elected office, said that he left the Sheriff’s Office on good terms.
Hicks said that he believes the Sheriff’s Office needs to be restructured, that too few deputies are on patrol in the spacious county and too many are assigned to tasks at the courthouse in Asheboro.
“That would better serve our communities,” he said.
Hicks also would like to start a formal medical check program for older adults.
“This is a program that allows family members with a loved one to go out of town — who have elderly parents that are housebound. Our office would either contact the elderly by phone or in person. This will ensure the person isn’t in need of anything, up to medical assistance,” he said.
Reid told the Enterprise that he will seek re-election, which would be his third term as sheriff. But Reid said he will hold off any comment about Hicks’ challenge or a formal statement on his re-election bid until the candidate filing period begins in February.
On the Sheriff’s Office website, Reid writes that he strives “to provide the highest level of law enforcement service to the citizens of this county as possible. We will strive to not only reduce crime, but to reduce the fear of crime ...”
Reid says in his website message that the Sheriff’s Office seeks to implement effective law enforcement and crime prevention strategies.
“We will attempt to be easily accessible to our citizens to answer their questions, concerns or needs. A more proactive role in solving your everyday problems will be a most worthy goal,” Reid says. “We pledge to be more respectful, imaginative and aggressive in our approach to crime, and the problems it causes.”

pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528