Beickert looks ahead to sheriff's duties
By William F. West
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
CURRITUCK — In the Republican primary contest for sheriff, Chief Deputy Matt Beickert was conducting his first campaign for elected office. Having won that last Tuesday, he’s now pivoting toward the November general election and what should be a smooth transition to the sheriff’s job.
Beickert defeated retired Norfolk police officer Bob Douros in the GOP primary, in which both were competing for the right to succeed Sheriff Susan Johnson, who's going to be retiring after having been in office since 2000. With no Democratic candidates having filed to run, Beickert only has to be concerned with possible write-in competition in November.
Looking forward to the county’s top law enforcement job, Beickert said Thursday that he wants to focus on mentoring youth and on establishing a personal connection with the community.
Overall, Beickert said he wants the people to be confident in the sheriff's office that he and his deputies are going to address every issue in the community.
He said this includes regular community meetings, "so we know not just what we have determined is a priority, but what the community feels is a priority."
Beickert said he has lived in Currituck for more than 40 years and has worked at the sheriff's office for more than 20 years. He said he believes both, along with having built a network of contacts throughout Currituck, were factors in his victory on Tuesday.
"I feel like people believe in me, trust in me and the sheriff's office and our employees," he said.
Sheriff Johnson – the lone remaining Democrat to hold a countywide office in Currituck – endorsed Beickert at a GOP gathering in early September. Although Johnson has been quite supportive of him, Beickert said he ran his own campaign.
Beickert said Douros contacted him on Thursday and offered his congratulations. Beickert also said he'll have an open-door policy to anyone with law enforcement experience and advice.
Douros, when reached on Thursday, was disappointed, but he didn't have any regrets and wished Beickert the best of luck. He also said he offered to assist Beickert in any way he possibly could.
Douros had been conducting his second campaign to secure the GOP nomination to become Currituck's top lawman. He had finished third in a three-way GOP primary in 2014 won by former N.C. Highway Patrol Sgt. Billy Long, who lost to Johnson by 77 votes in the general election.
Douros had been readying to run in 2018. On Thursday, he noted, "My wife and I definitely traveled a long four years before this particular campaign" and noted they enjoyed meeting with so many people in Currituck.
"I thought we did a great job. Just getting out and about, meeting and talking with the people of our county was worth it all," he said.
Douros was non-committal about whether last Tuesday marked his final campaign to win election as sheriff.
"A lot changes in four years. I'm not even going to speculate one way or the other. I'm just relaxing now, trying to suck it all up," he said.