WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Louie Lewis has no problem with the job the current sheriff is doing in Brunswick County. But, with children and grandchildren growing up in the area, the Democratic challenger from Supply would like the chance to make it a better place to live.
"I'm proud of the job John (Ingram) is doing, and very thankful for it," Lewis told anchor Jon Evans Monday night during a live appearance on WECT News at 5:30. "I just think Brunswick could be a better county, and I'd like to make it that way."
Lewis is a self-employed businessman with no law enforcement experience, but that has not kept him from running for the office. One of the questions Lewis was asked in his appearance was what qualifies him to be the next sheriff.
"I have a lifetime of experience dealing with people," Lewis said. "As far as law enforcement experience, I don't have a lot of that, but I feel I'm qualified to do the job (of sheriff). If they (voters) want people from law enforcement, well they have three other choices."
While tackling major crime issues such as gangs and drunk driving are something he wants to do if elected, Lewis said his priority would be to crack down on drug use in the county.
"I've not looked at the issue from the inside, only from the outside," Lewis said when asked about specific strategies to eliminate drugs. "I just feel like more could be done to battle the drug problem. When I do look at it from the inside, I'll be able to give the public a better idea of what we can do."
On the sometimes controversial topic of whether the sheriff's department needs a helicopter to help the crime-fighting effort, Lewis said it needs a closer look.
"It might be more reasonable to pay adjoining counties to use their helicopter. I'll have to evaluate the costs. It is helpful in the drug busts and when people get lost, and it's a powerful tool. Whether we would do better sharing one with other counties like New Hanover, I'll have to check and see."
Louie Lewis is facing Elizabeth "Rendy" Lewis in the Democratic Primary for Brunswick County Sheriff on May 4th.