PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A campaign in Pender County has already gone to court over lawsuits, restraining orders and Facebook, and the primary is still over a month away.
Pender County Sheriff Carson Smith says dirt is being thrown in the race, but it's not coming from him.
"I'm going to run it on what I've done and what I plan to do as sheriff in the next four years," said Smith. "That's where I'm at. That's the way I campaign and the way I'm going to campaign."
Although the race is between Adam Dillon and Carson Smith, the focus has been taken off the incumbent. It seems like the race is between Adam Dillon and Mark Sloan, who's a captain with the Pender County Sheriff's Office.
"We have a very long history together," said Dillon. "It's been a very heated relationship in the past, and he does not want to see me get into that office because he knows he won't have a job."
Dillon requested a restraining order against Sloan, but later dropped it because he didn't have the money to keep going to court. Dillon said he has the ability to defend his family and that the mention of a restraining order has decreased the amount of bashing in the campaign.
The order was originally filed because Sloan was trying to solicit information from former deputies about Dillon to post online.
The two candidates plan to hold a formal debate at the Train Depot in Burgaw at the end of April.
Sloan had declined to comment on this story.