Brunswick Sheriff switches parties; Democrats "stunned" - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Brunswick Sheriff switches parties; Democrats "stunned"

Posted by Debra Worley - email

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram will be changing political parties, in a move that has left his former party "stunned."

Sheriff Ingram announced Wednesday he will be changing his political affiliation to the Republican Party and will seek nomination of this party for the office of Sheriff.

In a statement, Ingram said he decided to change affiliations after much time and consideration.

"The Sheriff's office is not about partisan politics, and some may ask why I change parties," Ingram said in a written statement.

One of those asking why is Brunswick County Democratic Party Chair Donna Silva.  Silva said in a written statement that Ingram told Democratic Party leaders he was "born a Democrat" and "will die a Democrat."

"One can only conclude Mr. Ingram is a self-serving political chameleon," Silva wrote.

Sheriff Ingram joined the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office in 1991 as a Patrol Deputy under Sheriff John Carr Davis and worked his way through the ranks with the Warrant Division, Detective Division and Narcotics Division.

In April 2008, acting Sheriff Greg White of the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office appointed Sheriff Ingram as Chief Deputy of the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office.  A month later he was sworn in as Sheriff of Brunswick County.

Below is a copy of a statement released from Ingram:

This morning, I Sheriff John W. Ingram V formally changed my political affiliation to the Republican Party.  I will seek the nomination of this party for the office of Sheriff. 

I am fortunate beyond measure to serve Brunswick County as Sheriff. To be a public servant is the fulfillment of a life long dream.  More importantly, I am truly humbled by the support of the citizens of Brunswick County and I look forward to your continued support. 

Serving as Sheriff includes leading a team of dedicated and outstanding men and women.  I am honored to work with this group of fine officers who strive daily for excellence.  

The Sheriff's office is not about partisan politics, and some may ask why change parties. As I embark upon this season of Thanksgiving, I have had the opportunity to reflect on my life and the opportunities and blessings bestowed upon me. It is after much reflection and contemplation that I have decided to join the Republican Party. 

Though my career in law enforcement as a Democrat has brought me to this place in time, it is my humble choice to live free as my conservative principles and discipline desire.

It is my hope and belief that all of the citizens of Brunswick County, Democrat, Republicans and Unaffiliated voters will consider my service and re-elect me as their Sheriff.

Thank you for your continued support of the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office.  We are here should you need us. May you all enjoy a wonderful

Thanksgiving spent with family and friends, with a thankful heart for our many blessings.  

Sincerely 

John W.Ingram V
Sheriff
Brunswick County

Below is a statment from Donna Silva, the Chair of the Brunswick County Democratic Party, in response to Ingram's decision to become a Republican.

I was stunned to learn from a media inquiry that John Ingram had announced he was becoming a Republican...  Besides being blind-sided by this news, I vividly remember Mr. Ingram standing before the Democratic Executive Committee when he accepted the sheriff's appointment and saying "I was born a Democrat, I will always be a Democrat, and I will die a Democrat."  Whatever "conservative principles" Mr. Ingram harbors, he did not let them interfere with accepting his appointment by the Democratic Party.  To my knowledge, no local Democratic Party official has done anything to restrain or inhibit Mr. Ingram in his desire "to live free as my conservative principles and disciplines desire."  The Democratic Party is the Party of the Big Tent.  One can only conclude that Mr. Ingram is a self-serving political chameleon – –a man with his finger constantly testing the prevailing political winds and acting accordingly. Certainly, this behavior is not that of a man of principle.

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