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Macon County Sheriff's race will be recounted

Here are the primary election results for the sheriff's race from the North Carolina Board of Elections.
Courtesy of North Carolina Board of Elections
This recount will decide who will be the 27th sheriff in Macon County.

Six counties in the westernmost part of North Carolina elected new sheriffs in the primary election. Many were close races. A recount has been called for in the Macon County Sheriff’s race.

The Macon County Board of Elections confirmed that Republican Dereck Jones requested a recount after coming in second place in the primary election by just 54 votes. Brent Holbrooks was the top vote getter. No Democrats were on the ballot so this primary decides who will be the next Sheriff in the County. There were five candidates in the race.

Sheriff Robbie Holland, who is retiring this year, told BPR that he would be happy if any of the current officers were elected. Candidates Jones, Holbrooks and Clay Bryson are all currently part of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office.

Melanie Thibault is director of the Macon County Board of Elections. She isn’t surprised by the recount.

“It’s usually more so in the local elections. With it being so close, regardless of which one won if it went the other way I think that a recount would have been asked for also,” said Thibault.

In local races when a candidate wins by less than a 1 percent margin the second vote getter can request a recount, according to NC election law.

The primary count will be finalized on May 27th and then the recount will happen after that.

“Right now, I don’t have a set date on when we are going to perform it,” said Thibault. “Right now, we are trying to work with the county and schedule a time to have this done.”

She says that the recount will likely take place after Memorial Day.

Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.