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Anson County residents wait while next sheriff is being decided

WADESBORO, N.C. — Residents in Anson County are still waiting to see who the next sheriff will be nearly a week after the midterm election.

The person on the ballot died unexpectedly in September.

The county Democratic Party nominated a replacement, but the state rejected it.

Replacing Democratic Sheriff Landric Reid, who unexpectedly died is a bit complicated for officials.

Under state law, his death was within 90 days of an election so there could not be a special election.

Instead, the Democratic Party is allowed to meet and vote on the next sheriff.

However, a meeting last month violated several rules and now the county must start over again.

Tara Eudy, a Democrat Party member in the county, tried to attend the meeting to vote on the next sheriff, but she said she wasn’t allowed in.

Eudy thought the interim Sheriff Scott Howell, the former right-hand man and close friend of Reid, would be named sheriff.

Instead, those who were allowed to attend voted for Sgt. Gerald Cannon, a Wadesboro police officer.

“It didn’t make any sense to us,” Eudy said. “Had the meeting been held more transparent and the way the Democratic process works, we wouldn’t have been upset. There was no part of it that was done fairly.”

Howell said he was barred from voting as well.

Howell, along with several others who said they were kept out of the meeting, filed a petition with the state Democratic Party.

Attorney Aaron Bates helped with that petition and said there were numerous violations.

“It was bad,” Bates said. “They were taken proxy votes over the phone instead of in person. I do think there was some underhandedness that happened.”

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The state Democratic Party unanimously agreed and voided the nomination then sent the county back to start over again.

“The North Carolina Democratic Party’s plan of organization outlines how all this is supposed to be done, and it just wasn’t followed,” Bates said. “That’s all anybody is asking for. For it to be done fairly and correctly.”

There will now be a vote for the next sheriff on Dec. 3 and Eudy is hopeful.

“I think our whole entire community would like to see a transparent process happen,” she said.

Another petition has been filed to remove Anson County Democratic Party Chair Dannie Montgomery who oversaw the meeting.

Channel 9 reached out to Montgomery for a comment but has not heard back.

VIDEO: Anson County sheriff dies unexpectedly, officials say

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