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Buncombe County Sheriff Candidate Forum

On Monday October 15th, Blue Ridge Public Radio and the Asheville Citizen-Times held a forum with the candidates running for Buncombe County sheriff.  Democrat Quentin Miller, a 25-year veteran of the Asheville police force, and Republican Shad Higgins, a Weaverville business owner, participated.  Libertarian Tracey DeBruhl did not respond to repeated invitations to participate.  The winner of this election will replace Van Duncan, who decided to retire after serving three terms in office.

Early voting in North Carolina starts Wednesday October 17th and runs until November 3rd.  You can find a polling place near you here.  Election Day is November 6th.  Those who did not register to vote by last week's deadline can still vote but only during the early voting period.  They will not be able to vote on Election Day.

0:00 - Introduction

1:06 - Opening statements

3:36 - With the Buncombe County jail routinely at near capacity, what if any reforms do you believe are necessary?

6:58 - In a climate of unprecedented tension between communities of color and law enforcement, what are your thoughts on use of force and de-escalation policies, and what if any reforms do you believe are necessary?

9:22 - Both candidates come from very different professional backgrounds.  What from their career experiences would make them an effective sheriff?

12:12 - As sheriff, what role do you see the department playing in combating the opioid crisis in Buncombe County?

14:40 - What do you think the role and value of officer body camera footage is, and what are the circumstances where you would advocate for releasing body camera footage to the public?

17:59 - Given the highly partisan political environment of 2018, who will you deal with division not just in the sheriff's department, but also within the county that you will serve?

20:11 - What are you strategies for recruiting and keeping school resource officers in Buncombe County, and what areas of the policies surrounding them need work?

24:00 - Would you support signing a 287G agreement with federal Immigration & Customs Enforcement, and how as sheriff would you reach out to the growing immigrant community in Buncombe County?

27:16 - Closing statements

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.