Four candidates vie for two spots on sheriff ticket

By Leah Schmalz

With Chipp Bailey stepping down as Mecklenburg County sheriff, four contenders have registered to take his place. Irwin Carmichael and Antoine M. Ensley seek a spot on the Democratic ticket, while Chris Hailey and Louis Rango Jr. are up against each other for the Republican spot.

Irwin Carmichael has worked as a reserve captain with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office for 28 years. “I just want to see the stability of the office to continue,” he said. Carmichael’s two main points of focus are inmates and youthful offenders. Carmichael said the daily count of inmates just dropped below 1,800, down from nearly 3,000 several years ago. “We have been able to cut the population down because of the programs we have inside our facilities,” he said. “We are going to turn 95% back out into community. We want to return them as productive members.” He said the office has training programs in place in areas such as culinary, carpentry, and horticulture so that released inmates have employment and are less likely to reoffend.  Continue reading

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