Second forum tonight for special sheriff’s election

Published 6:40 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2018

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Residents will have another chance to question the two candidates running for Isle of Wight County Sheriff at a forum tonight at The Smithfield Center beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Running for the position is Sheriff James Clarke and Lt. James Pope, both of the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office. The special election is July 24. 

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The forum is sponsored by the Isle of Wight Citizens Association, the Carrollton Civic League and the Isle of Wight Chapter of the NAACP. 

Recent law school graduate Jared Ford and Herb DeGroft will serve as moderators and present written questions from the audience.{mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

The special election is being held because former Sheriff Mark Marshall retired earlier this year and before his term expired, on Dec. 31, 2019. 

Whoever is elected will serve the remainder of that term. 

Clarke was appointed sheriff because he was chief deputy when Marshall retired and that succession is outlined in the code of Virginia.

Another election for sheriff will be included in the regular general election in November 2019. The winner of that election will serve a four-year term. 

 A forum was held last month in Windsor and audience questions centered on school safety, department policy and the interaction between the Sheriff’s Office and the public.  

Clarke is an Isle of Wight County native, a 19-year veteran in law enforcement and served 24 years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves.  Prior to coming to the Sheriff’s Office, Clarke worked for the Smithfield Police Department and is a graduate of the FBI Academy.

Pope came to the Sheriff’s Office in 2004 after working as the manager of the Smithfield Subway store. While at the Sheriff’s Office, Pope has worked his way up to lieutenant.  {/mprestriction}