Posted by Scott Saxton - email
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram sent shock waves through the political world of the county late last year, when he switched party registration from Democrat to Republican.
The chairwoman of the county party questioned Ingram's character and made a point to say that the county would field a candidate to challenge Ingram, should he get the Republican party's nomination.
However, heading into the final day to file as a candidate in this year's election, the Democrat party had no candidates for sheriff. That all changed within minutes.
Elizabeth Rendy Lewis and Louie Lewis showed up at the Board of Elections office at the same time to announce their intentions to run as a Democratic candidate for sheriff. Neither knew the others plans. The two are not related, but say they have been friends for some time.
Rendy Lewis has the more traditional route to sheriff. Lewis says she was the first female road deputy in Brunswick County, serving for more than a decade until she became a magistrate in the county. Rendy Lewis retired a few years ago. She said on the phone Friday afternoon that she had considered a run for sheriff for some time and had shown an interest for the appointment when former Sheriff Ron Hewett had to leave office in 2008. The county party selected Ingram.
Louie Lewis said he's a "jack of all trades" who has been working since he was 17. The self-employed operator of Lewis Autos says "the good Lord" guided him in his decision.
"If I'm to make it with the Good Lord, I'm going to give half of my salary to charity," Louie Lewis said over the phone Friday.
The successful Lewis will head on to the general election against either current Sheriff John Ingram or Timothy "Salt" Daniels, a trooper who also signed up as a Republican candidate.