Democratic sheriff candidates jump into campaign on first day of filing

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The first day of campaign filing had the vibe a political love fest dominated by local Democrats. And in such a volatile political season, one of the most highly-contested races is for the office of Mecklenburg County Sheriff.

Transparency is the issue that will be trumpeted by incumbent Irwin Carmichael and political newcomer and retired CMPD detective Garry McFadden.

"I've always been transparent," Carmichael said.

McFadden echoes the same sentiment.

"I want people to understand that we're going be a transparent department if we win this race," McFadden said.

One hot-button issue comes over immigration and the 287G program.

"Where were you born and where were you a citizen of? Depending on how they answer those questions is whether they're entered into the 287G program," Carmichael said.

The challenger sees it differently.

"We don't know how it's being enforced," McFadden said. "There's the enforcement on the roads, and there's a hybrid part."

Elections supervisor Michael Dickerson believes the matchup between these two candidates will engage voters.

"That's a race that will get people out. Democrats especially," Dickerson told WBTV.

McFadden prides himself on community service.

"Anybody can tell you that I'm in these streets, I'm in the schools, each and every day," McFadden said. "For me, this is not seasonal."

The incumbent expects to the judged on his record and offers this bit of political insight.

"A lot of people say the primary is the election of the Sheriff of Mecklenburg County," he said. "So, whoever wins the primary will be the sheriff of Mecklenburg County."

A third candidate in the race, Antoine Ensley who works for the city of Charlotte, has also filed as a Democrat.

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