Asheville police sergeant Quentin Miller easily outdistanced four others for the Democratic nomination for Buncombe County sheriff.
Miller ended up winning the race by a wide margin – garnering more votes than his 4 opponents combined. Miller finished with almost 54% of the votes cast. His closest competitor was Randy Smart, who had the endorsement of retiring Sheriff Van Duncan. Miller’s campaign focused on building what he called a ‘community of we’, and trying to reverse the perception of law enforcement as ‘warriors’ or ‘intimidators.’ Speaking at his election night party at the Haywood Lounge in West Asheville, Miller noted he didn’t just win in Asheville – he won precincts all over Buncombe County. “There were some who may have suggested that we would only win the city," Miller said. "But I think that we have a message that has resonated into the county. We have to get out of this idea that the city and county are different. They’re one. And the last time I checked, the city was inside the county.”
Miller will face Republican Shad Higgins and Libertarian Tracey Debruhl in the fall general election. If he wins, Miller will be the first African-American to hold of the office of Buncombe County sheriff.