Sheriff Chipp Bailey has announced plans to step down when his term ends this year, and that means his job is up for grabs. Four candidates – two Democrats and two Republicans – have filed for the seat. They’ll face primaries in May, with the two winners facing off in the November election. Meet the candidates:
- Irwin Carmichael, 49, (www.irwinforsheriff.com), is a Huntersville native who has worked in the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office since 1986. With the rank of captain, he’s currently the agency’s Crime Prevention and Community Safety Programs specialist. He says he was raised on a dairy farm in the Long Creek area, and “has prepared a lifetime for the position.” A karate black belt, he owns the Martial Arts Training Institute (M.A.T.I.), which has eight Charlotte area locations. He’s also a former Charlotte Fire Department officer. He also has written a book on self defense for women. He wants to strengthen sheriff’s office programs to decrease recidivism, to partner with community leaders and elected officials to keep neighborhoods safe, and to encourage youth to follow the motto, “Do the Right Thing the First Time, Every Time.”
- Antoine Ensley, 43, (www.voteensleyforsheriff2014.com/) was born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in BelHaven, NC. He has a B.S in Criminal Justice from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and an MBA from Pfeiffer University. He also graduated from the FBI National Academy, and has worked a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer and SWAT Crisis Negotiator, and police chief in Fletcher, NC. He later served as Superintendent of Juvenile Justice Programs for the City of Norfolk, VA, until July 2008, then went to work as a regional executive at Target Corp. In 2012, he returned to CMPD as an administrative officer in Human Resources, working on recruiting, and later was promoted to his current job, as Recruitment Manager for the City of Charlotte. He lives in Charlotte. He says he wants to ensure a “second chance” by providing support systems for ex-offenders, and hopes to help develop “a smarter public safety model.”
- Chris Hailey of Huntersville (www.votehailey.com) is a Wadesboro native who has worked 27 years in public safety, including with Raleigh Police, the NC State Highway Patrol. He’s now the Director of Public Safety Training at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte. He has a bachelor’s degree in Adaptive Physical Education/Kinesiotherapy from Shaw University and a master’s degree in Organizational Management from Pfeiffer University in Charlotte. Hailey said he wants to work on three main areas as sheriff: cooperation and collaboration, including strengthening ties with municipal police departments; education and training; and prevention and rehabilitation.
- Louis Rango Jr., of Charlotte, also has entered the race. (www.facebook.com/rangoforsheriff). He was born and raised in Lorain, Ohio. He moved to Charlotte in 1988 and began a career in law enforcement with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office in 1993. He later joined the police department in Pineville and in 2001 was hired by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. In the past 13 years, has received several commendations and citations for service, including the Chief’s Award for Exceptional Problem Solving. He said he’s campaigning for more crime prevention, including preventing gang violence, to reopen rehabilitation facilities, and for more drug interdiction. He also wants to see sheriff’s deputies return to patrols.
RELATED COVERAGE AND LINKS
See a full list of election filings at MECKBOE.org
See previous coverage of the 2014 campaign.