RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – There is a new sheriff in Wake County and the voters have decided that will be Willie Rowe, the Democratic nominee.
Former Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison (R) was also in the running for Wake County’s next sheriff, but fell short by just over 30,000 votes.
Rowe ran in the Democratic primary against incumbent Sheriff Gerald Baker. In the primary, Rowe came in first place with 29.5 percent of the vote, but 30 percent was needed to win. Baker received 24 percent of the vote.
Baker called for a runoff election on May 19 and the election took place on July 26. Rowe won the primary with 75.35 percent of the vote compared to Baker’s 24.65 percent.
In a farewell letter, Baker announced he would retire on December 1.
According to Rowe’s website, he is a retired major from the Wake County Sheriff’s Office with 28 years of service.
Rowe started his career in service as a sergeant in the United States Army from 1978 to 1985. In 1985, he became a deputy with Wake County before being promoted to an investigator, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and major before retiring in 2013.
Rowe then worked as a security officer for the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings, Department of Agriculture and the Museum of Natural Sciences from 2015 to 2018. From January 2019 until May 2021, Rowe was a liaison for the Wake County Clerk of Superior Court Office.
In a Local Matters interview with CBS 17’s Russ Bowen, Rowe discussed the importance of community engagement, procedure when a deputy is injured and morale under the current leadership.
His priorities include reducing crime and enhancing public safety, restoring the public’s trust in the sheriff’s office, increasing staffing, restoring unity and improving morale.
For more information about Rowe, visit his website.
Check back with CBS 17 for updated election results.