RALEIGH — Donnie Harrison said Monday he will seek a fourth four-year term as Wake County sheriff.
“I love my job,” Harrison said in a statement. “It has been a great honor to serve the people of Wake County. ... I have worked diligently to ensure that the Sheriff’s Office is responsive, professional and fair to all of our citizens.”
The election is still nearly a year away, but Harrison already has a challenger. Willie Rowe, who retired from the Wake County Sheriff’s Office as a major in April, announced his plans to run for sheriff last month.
Harrison has won three consecutive elections for sheriff starting in 2002, after losing to longtime Sheriff John Baker in 1998. Before seeking elected office, Harrison worked for the State Highway Patrol in Wake County from 1967 until his retirement in 1993.
Harrison, a Republican and native of Martin County, bills himself as a “working sheriff,” who wears a uniform and helps answer calls. He established a program to check daily on the welfare of elderly people and another to help adults and children with special needs who may wander off and get lost.
Rowe, a Democrat from Raleigh, took early retirement to run for sheriff. He says he’ll push for increased patrols, more community interaction and early intervention to prevent at-risk young people from getting involved in crime.