The projected winner of Burke County’s sheriff’s race was clear in a decisive primary.
With all 33 precincts reporting, Republican Banks Hinceman ran away with 63.05% (6,791 votes) of the vote, according to records from the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.
Election results won’t be final until canvassing May 27.
Hinceman, who has been the chief deputy at the Burke County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years, said everything felt surreal Tuesday night as he and his supporters celebrated the win at Town Tavern restaurant in Morganton.
“I’m just deeply humbled for the support from the citizens of Burke County, those people who voted for me,” Hinceman told The News Herald. “I’m just deeply humbled and I look forward to serving as your sheriff for the next four years.”
Talking to his supporters as the results became clear Tuesday night, Hinceman told them he was thankful the Lord put them in his life.
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“I pledge to you that I will serve this county as a nonpartisan law enforcement officer, a nonpartisan sheriff,” Hinceman said. “I will be everybody’s sheriff, no matter your race, your religion, color or creed, we will serve the county with honor.”
Hinceman bested former sheriff Richard Epley, who received 36.95% (3,980 votes) of the vote. Epley served as sheriff from 1994 to 1998 when he lost to retired sheriff John T. McDevitt. Including this election, Epley has waged five unsuccessful campaigns for sheriff.
He could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
With no Democrats in the running for the office, Tuesday night’s projected win set Hinceman up to take the office of sheriff later this year.
Chrissy Murphy is a staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.