David Caldwell Jr. said Tuesday he will ask for a June runoff against Charles Blackwood to be Orange County’s next sheriff.
Blackwood won 4,788 votes, closely followed by Caldwell with 4,730 votes in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.
If the top finisher does get more than 40 percent of the votes, state law allows the second-place finisher to request a runoff. Six Democratic candidates were seeking to replace Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass, who is retiring after serving 32 years and eight consecutive terms.
Caldwell said he expected the race to be tough, since voters had to choose from among six men. He asked his supporters to “please be prepared to vote again,” he said.
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The remaining candidates – from highest vote totals to lowest – were Larry D. Faucette, Keith Webster, Andy Cagle and Buddy Parker. With no Republican candidates, the winner will be unopposed in November.
Blackwood, 54, retired in 2012 as major of operations with the Orange County Sheriff's Office after 32 years. He has since served on the Orange County Jury Commission. Elections reports show Blackwood raised $34,732 – the most money for any candidate in this first three months of this year’s Orange County elections – and spent $22,886.
Caldwell, 61, has been an officer with the Carrboro Police Department, U.S. Army Military Police Corps and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, retiring after more than 22 years. He raised $4,623 in the first three months of this year and spent $3,580, reports show.
According to reports, Caldwell and his wife donated most of the money to his campaign. Many supporters wanted to contribute but didn’t have a lot of money or a job, he said. He told them to keep the money, Caldwell said.
“Your vote means more than any amount of money you can give me,” he said.