Military vet wages write-in challenge to Augusta County sheriff
Story by Chris Graham
Four years ago, Augusta County sheriff Randy Fisher had a nominal challenge for re-election in the form of independent candidate Richard Armstrong.
Next week, write-in candidate Edward B. Carter hopes to be more than a nominal challenge for Fisher.
“I want complete law enforcement for all thirty-nine thousand and some registered voters in Augusta County – and that is not happening right now,” said Carter, 73, of Swoope, a retired military veteran who decided to put his name out there for the sheriff’s job after deciding that years of frustrations in dealing with the law-enforcement community in Augusta County was enough.
To listen to Carter explain his motivations for wanting to run, it would seem to make more sense for him to make a run at Commonwealth’s Attorney Lee Ervin – since it is Ervin that Carter blames for his issues with the sheriff’s office regarding the repeated use by neighbors of fireworks that he says are illegal.
Carter said he has been told that Ervin has dictated to the sheriff’s office that he won’t prosecute cases involving illegal fireworks – and while we can’t substantiate that claim, Carter feels nonetheless that the situation has left the county with a black eye.
“I would do my best to leave that office with a greater respect from the public for law enforcement – because right now, this is my opinion, there is not the respect there for the law enforcement. And people don’t say the sheriff’s department is corrupt. They don’t say that the Commonwealth’s office is corrupt. They say that Augusta County is corrupt,” Carter said in an interview on “The Augusta Free Press Show” last week.
“I want things changed in that sheriff’s department big time. I mean, these officers should not have to go out and lie – and I mean, that’s what they’re doing,” Carter said.
Carter said he has been campaigning actively since he decided to run as a write-in candidate in September – including working the crowds on Friday nights at high-school football games in the county.
He said he gets a strong reaction from people when he tells them that he is running for sheriff.
“They grab my hand, and they shake it, and they can’t believe that I’m running against Randall Fisher,” Carter said.
His priorities for the office should he be elected would be to work with the Augusta County Board of Supervisors to add more deputies to the sheriff’s office workforce and to increase training opportunities for those on staff.
“The first thing that I would do when I went in there is I do have several officers who I’ve met who I do have confidence and faith in, and I would let them take command while I get up to speed,” Carter said.
“And believe it or not, I’m not working for pay. I wouldn’t be taking a paycheck from Augusta County. Whatever that pay would be, I get in, it’s going to be used as a thing to reward officers or to get information from people in the county,” Carter said.
Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.