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The fourth time was a charm Saturday afternoon for John Ingram.
The 100-plus members of the Democratic Party Executive Committee cast their votes in four different ballots before Ingram secured the necessary 89 votes to be named the party's nominee for sheriff.
Ingram, Brunswick County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy, beat out Willie Sloan in the fourth and final ballot 94.5 votes to 81 votes.
Now that Ingram has been named the Democratic Party's nominee to be appointed sheriff, Brunswick County Commissioners will vote to appoint Ingram at their May 19 meeting.
As the final votes were read, sheriff's office employees erupted in cheers and applause for their new boss.
When asked what the department's support meant to him, Ingram said, "words can't express that."
Acting sheriff Greg White appointed Ingram chief deputy after former sheriff Ronald Hewett's suspension March 31.
After Hewett's resignation April 15, the Democratic Party Executive Committee had 30 days to recommend his replacement to county commissioners.
During Saturday's vote, executive committee members had 10 candidates to first choose from. After the first round of votes, the field was narrowed down to four candidates--Southport Police Chief Jerry Dove, Ingram, Sloan and former Southport Police Chief Walt Willis.
After the second and third round of votes, Willis and Dove were eliminated respectively.
Ingram said he was "honored and humbled" by the party's nomination.
"My goal is to work with the department and all the fine people in the department to move forward, working with the community, to make positive changes for the betterment of the office, the betterment of the people in the office and the betterment of the community," Ingram said.
Ingram, who began his career in the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, says his experience throughout the ranks of the office primed him for his newest role.
"How can you manage people if you don't know what their job is," he asked.
It is because of this experience Ingram says he can "effectively be sheriff of this county."
Ingram began his career in law enforcement in 1991 at the Brunswick County Sheriffs Office as a patrol deputy. He worked at the sheriffs office until 2004, where he was the lieutenant of the narcotics unit and the commander of the SWAT team. From 2004-2007, Ingram worked at the Columbus County Sheriffs Office, most recently as chief deputy.
In 2001, Ingram was named North Carolina Narcotics Officer of the Year.
For more on this story read next weeks issue of The Beacon.