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Wilson County Sheriff won't take questions from CBS 17 at candidate forum

WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) - For months, CBS 17 has been trying to speak with Wilson County Sheriff Calvin Woodard. He declined again to speak on Tuesday, May 1.

"Is there any way we could just ask you a couple of questions?" Amy Cutler asked. Woodard didn't response.

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Woodard is one of three candidates running in the Democratic primary for Wilson County Sheriff. 

CBS 17 caught up with him at a candidate forum at Wilson Community College.

Woodard is the incumbent. He's running against Chris Boykin and Dinise Williams.

The focus of much of the evening was on animals.

"It doesn't feel like you want the community to be involved in anything dealing with the animal shelter," a neighbor said.

"Are we at a point where animal control should no longer be under the sheriff's department?" Kim Edmundson with the Wilson County Humane Society asked.

Edmundson is one of several animal advocates concerned about how Woodard has handled animal control.

"I'm into the animal shelter. I go visit the animal shelter. I play with the cats and I never had a cat," Woodard said at the forum.

Woodard and Boykin both said animal control should remain under the Sheriff's Office. Williams seemed open to discussion.

All three candidates agreed school safety and the opioid epidemic are top priorities.

"I will have an open door policy. You can come and talk to me," Williams said in response to a question about what she'd change about the Sheriff's Office

"My intentions are to go before the county commissioners and ask for raises and ask for raises again and again and again," Boykin said in response to that same question.

The Republican candidate, Kevin Raper, was also in the crowd. He was invited to take part but declined. 

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