WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) – The former sheriff of Columbus County ran an ad in a local newspaper Thursday criticizing the area's top prosecutor and endorsing his opponent.
Chris Batten, who stepped down as sheriff in January to take a state job, placed the ad in The (Whiteville) News Reporter.
Batten is throwing his support behind Ryan Smithwick, who is challenging incumbent District Attorney Jon David in the Republican primary. David's district includes Bladen, Brunswick and Columbus counties.
In the ad, Batten claims local civic leaders are "fed up with (David's) arrogance."
"What David may not realize is that a whole lot of poor people are victims of property and other crimes that he never sees because he does not show up in our county unless it benefits him politically," Batten wrote.
David released the following statement in response to Batten's ad:
"I'm disappointed that Mr. Batten feels that way because it is not true. As a private citizen, Mr. Batten is certainly entitled to voice his misguided beliefs in a paid political advertisement. During my time as District Attorney I have fought hard for the citizens of Columbus and Bladen Counties and I will continue to do so. My team will continue to work closely with the Columbus County Sheriff's Office and we are excited by the change in leadership."
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