By Kelsey Bartlett
The Craig County Sheriff Forum was hosted at Craig County High School on Friday night.
Trevor Craddock and Paris Parsons were both at the event. Danny McPherson was absent due to prior commitments. According to a straw poll conducted at the forum, Craddock leads his competitors with 68.7 percent of the vote. Parsons followed with 26.5 percent, McPherson with 1.2 percent and 3.6 of voters were undecided.
After four years with the Roanoke City Police Department, followed by 22 years with the Virginia State Police,
the last 18 of which were spent working in Craig County, Craddock resigned in April to run for sheriff.
“From a young age, I knew I wanted to be in law enforcement,” Craddock said. “I was hired by the State Police in November of 1992. After completing the 27-week academy, I was assigned to Arlington. Two years later, I transferred to Highland County. It was there that the idea of running for sheriff first entered my mind from the positive work and relationships I developed with the sheriff’s office.”
Since Virginia State Police requires troopers to resign before running for sheriff, Craddock says the decision to run wasn’t easy. However, after much discussion with his family, he says his desire to make a difference in his hometown outweighed any doubt.
Parsons is currently a Craig County deputy sheriff, and is a Craig County native.
“I have served you, the citizens of Craig County for 12 years as deputy sheriff,” he said. “Now I feel it is time to step up and use my experience and knowledge to serve you as the sheriff of Craig County.”
Parsons says he is already familiar with the concerns of Craig County residents.
“While talking with the citizens in the outlying areas of the county, they would like to see more visible patrol,” he said. “As sheriff, I will implement directed patrols in the outlying areas and provide 24-hour coverage. ”
The event, which was moderated by CCHS history teacher John Crenshaw, brought out 146 people. Members of the audience submitted questions to the candidates. The Republican Party of Craig County and the Craig County Citizens of the Constitution sponsored the event.
Event organizers said they wanted to give everyone a chance to get to know the person they will be voting for in November.