Brunswick County GOP unanimously votes to nominate Chief Deputy Brian Chism as next sheriff

Brunswick County GOP unanimously votes to nominate Chief Deputy Brian Chism as next sheriff
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 9:36 PM EDT
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BOLIVIA, N.C. (WECT) -Sheriff John Ingram’s chief deputy is the recommended choice to take over when the current sheriff retires this coming Sunday.

It was a packed meeting Monday night at the Brunswick County Republican Party headquarters. Party leaders faced a choice of who they wanted to succeed retiring Sheriff John Ingram.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Brunswick County Commissioner Frank Williams. “John Ingram has done an amazing job. People hate to see him go, but you’ve got someone who has learned from him but can also put his own stamp on it.”

Chief Deputy Brian Chism was the only person nominated for the job of interim sheriff. When it came time for a vote of the executive committee, it seemed to be a no-brainer. Just moments after non-voting party members left the room, they were called back in to announce the unanimous vote to recommend Chism as the candidate to become the next sheriff.

“Definitely humility is what comes to mind,” said Chism. “I’m very thankful for everyone that showed up tonight. As I said in there, there’s no words to describe what I’m feeling right now, to be honest with you.”

Chism has worked for the Sheriff’s Office for 18 years. His recommendation now goes to County Commissioners for approval, something Williams says should not be a problem.

“He’s proven himself as the chief deputy,” said Williams. “He’s been in the sheriff’s office for a long time, presents himself well, people are drawn to him and I think he’ll be able to... build on the things that John Ingram has built.”

In the meantime, Chism is preparing to take on the new role and has one thing on his mind.

“Starting today, I’ve got to figure out what I can do to improve for the citizens of this county, which is who we work for,” said Chism. “I want to get out and make those connections. I want to shake people’s hands, I want them to ask me questions and get that one-on-one time. I think that’s very important, moving forward for the trust and also the transparency.”

Brunswick County GOP Chairman William Moore plans to write a letter formally notifying commissioners of the decision within the next few days. He wants to make sure it appears before the commissioners at their meeting next week.