Surry Sheriff Carlos Turner wins reelection

Published 11:51 pm Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Surry County Sheriff Carlos Turner won reelection, defeating challenger R.M. “Rocky” Barbee on Nov. 7, though with a slightly narrower margin than when the two previously faced off in 2019.

According to unofficial election results, Turner received 62% of 3,370 votes to Barbee’s just under 38%.

Turner, who was first elected as sheriff in 2015, had taken just under 68% of 3,156 votes to Barbee’s 32% in 2019.

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The totals include election day voting, early in-person votes and absentee ballots but not provisional ballots.

Turner, on Nov. 9, told The Smithfield Times he attributes his election day success to running a positive campaign focused on what his office has done in the community over the past eight years.

“I am deeply humbled and grateful for the trust and confidence you have placed in me by re-electing me as your Sheriff,” Turner wrote in a message to voters posted to his campaigns’ Facebook page just after midnight on Nov. 8. “I am honored to serve you and promise to uphold the duties of this office with integrity, fairness, and dedication.

“I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who supported me throughout this journey. Your votes, your encouraging words, and your belief in my vision in keeping Surry County safe have been the driving force behind this victory.

“As your Sheriff, I pledge to work tirelessly to ensure we have a professional staff serving our community, that is dedicated to the safety and security of our community. I am committed to fostering a strong relationship between our Sheriff’s office and the community we serve. Together, we can make Surry County a safer place to live, work, and raise our families.”

Barbee issued his own statement just after noon on Nov. 8 on his campaign’s Facebook page conceding the race and thanking his supporters.

“While the results from the Sheriff’s election were not what we hoped for, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each one of you,” Barbee said. “Thank you first to God and my family for supporting me during the months of long days and nights during the campaign – I am so grateful for your unwavering support. In addition, a big thank you to all the citizens who took the time to talk to me, ask questions, help me spread the word about my beliefs and values, and most importantly to those who went to the polls and cast a ballot.

“We have to trust in the process of our democracy and so I wish Sheriff Turner the best in leading our Sheriff’s department and making the right choices in protecting our community. I will be taking time to spend with my family and friends and enjoy retirement. I am always here for the citizens of this community and hope you will continue to reach out in the future. Thank you for all the love and support!”

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 9:26 a.m. on Nov. 9 with further remarks by Sheriff Carlos Turner.