Woodard cruises to 3rd term as Wilson sheriff

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Sheriff Calvin Woodard coasted to a third term Tuesday night, capturing nearly 70 percent of the vote. Woodard defeated Republican rival Kevin T. Raper, a first-time candidate and owner of Aggressive Towing and Recovery.

Woodard, a Democrat, received 19,514 votes (69.17 percent), while Raper garnered 8,699 votes (30.83 percent).

Election results are unofficial until a Wilson County Board of Elections canvass.

“The people came out and they as always spoke and spoke louder than my last two elections,” Woodard said. “It means a lot to me to serve the citizens as their sheriff.”

Woodard said he’s also grateful to all the men and women at the sheriff’s office who support him and make his leadership possible.

“I thank all my supporters, from the ones that have prayed for me, called me and supported us during our fundraising efforts,” Woodard said. “They’ve just been incredible.”

Raper said while he wished for a better outcome, he was grateful for all those who came out and supported him.

“I thank God for giving me this opportunity to meet some great people,” he said. “I will still serve this county the same way I’ve been serving it, public service-wise.”

Raper said he plans to run for sheriff again in 2022.

“We will be back in four years,” he said.

Woodard secured an advantage in early voting, more than doubling Raper’s tally by a margin of 11,274 early votes to 4,456. Woodard also won all 24 precincts.

Woodard said the numbers showed that the voters believe in the “positive way the sheriff’s office is going.”

“It also shows that they believe in me,” he said. “It’s encouraging to me and the men and women of the office of the love that is shown to us by the citizens.”

Woodard said he plans to build upon his administration’s accomplishments at the sheriff’s office and “overall continuing to do what we do — protecting the citizens and animals of Wilson County.”

Woodard has been sheriff since 2010.