BEDFORD, Va. – The field to replace retiring Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown will be whittled down soon.
Kent Robey, Mike Miller and David Wells are the three Republican candidates for sheriff. After Tuesday's primary elections, only one candidate will remain in the running for the position.
"I have spent the last year pounding the pavement," said Robey, who served in the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Air Marshals Service before retiring and moving back to Bedford County two years ago. "I've worked hard in these sacrifices, in my experience and education to bring it back."
"I have dedicated my life to Bedford County," said Miller, who has served with the Bedford County Sheriff's Office for 34 years and has worked his way up to the rank of captain. "That's what I'm focusing on, to right now stand shoulder to shoulder with those men and women knowing that our crime rate is low."
"Law enforcement is in my blood," said Wells, the son of former Bedford County Sheriff Carl Wells and a longtime detective with the Roanoke County Sheriff's Office. "Working with people, communicating with them, working on the local level to solve problems. That is what I do."
Both Miller and Robey have experience serving alongside Brown, as Robey was a member of the Bedford County Sheriff's Office before moving to federal law enforcement.
"I told Sheriff Brown I would never run against him and when the time came to retire, I would look at the opportunity to come back," Robey said.
"The Sheriff has taught us well," Miller said. "He's trained us how to take the next step, and I believe this is the next step."
Wells said he did not serve in Bedford County due to nepotism concerns.
The winner of the primary will face independents Tim Hayden and James Kirkland in the November election. Hayden and Kirkland both currently serve in the Bedford County Sheriff's Office.