Patrick Bailey wants to be the next sheriff of Vance County. The Republican candidate was one of several speakers who spoke during a Vance County GOP fundraiser last week in Henderson. Bailey spoke for almost 15 minutes on topics ranging from Second Amendment rights to the opioid epidemic.
“We need a change,” Bailey said, which prompted applause from the audience. “We need to make Vance County safe again – it’s not safe now.”
He said he would support the Second Amendment right to bear arms as sheriff of Vance County. “The Second Amendment right stands as it is,” he said, which elicited more applause and shouts of support from the 300 or so gathered at the fundraiser.
“We’ve got people running around… in our stores that are criminals carrying guns and what does Washington want to do? Washington wants to come in and make more laws that are binding us as law-abiding citizens so that we can’t go out and buy a gun as easily as we have been.”
As he has traveled across the county to the various townships and communities, Bailey said the Number 1 issue on people’s minds is drugs. According to Bailey, Vance County holds the unenviable spot of being the top county in the import of opium. (He did not cite a source for this statistic.) That means that the majority of the illegal drugs come through Vance County first before being distributed to surrounding counties, across the state and elsewhere.
Bailey said the sheriff’s office desperately needs a drug interdiction unit to catch drugs as they are transported up and down the interstate. He also said the sheriff’s office needs well trained officers who know the law and how to enforce it.
Residents can identify particular spots where drugs are being sold, but there is little being done to shut them down. “We need undercover agents working in these townships and locating drug houses and getting rid of them,” he said.
But the issue has two fronts to battle – the people who deal the drugs and the users who buy them. Bailey said mental health workers need to be working with families of substance abusers to get them help.
The only way to achieve results, he said, is for Republicans to get out and vote. He said of the county’s 24,000 registered voters, only 1,200 Republicans cast ballots in the May primary.
“You’ve got to tell all of your friends, all of your family (to vote),” he said, from local elections all the way up to the president of the United States. “We need to get (the) Democrats out of office.”