The candidates for Sheriff put their best foot forward on Sunday at the Dare County League of Women Voters Candidate Forum. Officer Doug Doughtie of the Duck Police Department and Sheriff Rodney Midgett told voters why they think they are the best person to run the Sheriff’s office.

Officer Doug Doughtie

Doug Doughtie (R) took the podium first. His platform is built on Accessibility, Balance and Commitment. He talked about his family briefly and said ‘God has blessed me greatly with the family that I have’. Doughtie was the only candidate to mention God in his remarks. He first addressed the drug problem in Dare County saying that we have to find new ways to combat this problem. He wants to help kids ‘now, before I can’t do anything for them later on.’ He called it a messy situation. Doughtie stressed that he personally would be accessible to all the citizens of the County 24/7. He got a few chuckles when he said that he wears his cell phone on his pajamas. He promised to be on Hatteras Island three days a week. If people don’t come to the show, he said, you’ve got to ‘take the show to the people’. He wants to see officers back in the communities, in the businesses and in the schools, even the elementary schools. He likes the idea of having officers participating in reading programs with the elementary school children so that they come to know and respect the police in the community.

Sheriff Rodney Midgett

Sheriff Rodney Midgett (D) stressed his native roots in Dare County. He cited his meritorious service in Vietnam, his leadership roles in the local fire departments and his many years as Chief Deputy in the Sheriff’s Department as his qualifications. Of the drug problem, he said, “We do have a drug problem, I’m not going to sugarcoat that.” During his tenure, drug overdose deaths have decreased by 77% in the County while other counties have seen a rise, he said. He credits the collaborative work in the County between the Sheriff’s office and civic organizations such as Dare CASA, of which he is a founding member. He said solving the drug problem involves informing, educating and changing attitudes. It’s not a problem that we can ‘arrest our way out of.’ In closing, Mr. Midgett pointed out that running the Sheriff’s office is akin to running a multi million dollar business and stated that his 28 years of law enforcement experience qualify him to do just that.