Will a GOP wave help Donnie Harrison return as Wake sheriff? | Beaufort County Now | More than a year before the 2022 election, a former four-term Republican Wake County sheriff has announced he will run again, attempting a return to the top law enforcement spot in North Carolina’s largest county.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal.

    More than a year before the 2022 election, a former four-term Republican Wake County sheriff has announced he will run again, attempting a return to the top law enforcement spot in North Carolina's largest county. Donnie Harrison had a surprising loss in 2018, a strong Democrat election year, but believes this is the time to get back on the ballot.

    Harrison was first elected sheriff of Wake County in 2002, he was re-elected to a second term in 2006, to a third term in 2010, and a fourth term in 2014. Harrison was the first certified law enforcement officer to be elected sheriff in Wake County. In total, he served as Wake County sheriff for 16 years.

    Harrison took pride in being a hands-on sheriff, working the roads with his deputies, showing up at calls, checking in with the detention staff, going on drug raids, and accompanying detectives as they investigated cases.

    "I always said I would be a working sheriff, out there with our employees," Harrison says. "With over 53 years of law enforcement experience, I've been there and know what they face. I wanted them to know that I love law enforcement just as they did, and I was proud to work side by side with them."

    Harrison's first campaign for Wake County sheriff in 1998 against long-time incumbent John Baker was unsuccessful. Baker, nicknamed "Big John," was an iconic Raleigh political figure and former defensive lineman in the NFL. Baker was first elected sheriff in 1978, becoming the first black sheriff in North Carolina since the Reconstruction era. Harrison sought a rematch in 2002 and won.

    In 2018, Harrison ran for re-election a fifth time but was defeated by Gerald Mauroka Baker during the midterm elections. Baker defeated Harrison by 55 to 45% of votes. He has been serving in the sheriff's office for 28 years; 15 under Harrison. Baker has been critical of the federal immigration program while Harrison fully cooperated with it.

    Baker is no relation to the former Wake County sheriff of the same name but benefits from the similarity politically, and has been surrounded in controversy during his term.

    In 2018, Republicans had a net gain in sheriffs in North Carolina, fueled by victories in solidly red counties that previously had Democrat sheriffs. But Republicans lost sheriff races in North Carolina's largest counties, including Guilford and Wake.

    Wake has grown extensively, and more Democrat, since Harrison was first elected. Since 2010, Wake has grown 7% more Democrat in voter registration with Democrats now making up 36% of registered voters in Wake; Republicans only 23%. Unaffiliated voters make up the largest voting block at 40%. In the past, unaffiliated voters leaned more left in Wake County compared to unaffiliated voters in other parts of the state. In 2018, roughly 60% of unaffiliated voters in Wake County cast ballots for Democrats.

    Those connected to the Harrison campaign tell Carolina Journal that, much like the rest of the country, support for President Biden and Democrats is plummeting among unaffiliated in Wake, and say those same voters are highly concerned about public safety issues. They also believe a strong GOP year, plus a massive defection of unaffiliated voters away from Democrats, gives Harrison a plausible path to victory.
Go Back


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Montana State University (MSU) professors and other faculty members have taken it upon themselves to verbally accost students protesting MSU’s mask mandate. In emails obtained by The Daily Wire, at least five MSU professors and faculty used work emails to harass and swear at engineering students.
Today, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. provided an update on the state’s COVID-19 key metrics and trends.
A federal judge in Kentucky issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday against Democrat President Joe Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors in three states.
A top N.C. Senate education leader is criticizing Attorney General Josh Stein for his handling of the state’s defense in the long-running Leandro school funding lawsuit.
John Lacava explains why he is running for School Board
Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) refused to sign onto a statement condemning far-left activists who chased Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) into a bathroom where they proceeded to record and berate her.


The N.C. Supreme Court will decide in the months ahead whether a nurse can face greater legal liability for a patient’s injuries. The decision could reinforce or throw out a nearly 90-year-old court precedent.
Firefighters are still battling a wildfire that engulfed North Carolina’s Pilot Mountain over the weekend.
Excellent hit from press conference
We will offer this allotment of three with more to come; some old, most new, but all quite informative, and, moreover, necessary to understanding that in North Carolina, there is a wiser path to govern ourselves and our People.
Comedian and actor Damon Wayans last week praised Dave Chappelle for his Netflix special “The Closer,” saying the politically incorrect content “freed the slaves,” referring to fellow comedians feeling trapped to perform within the confines of the Left’s terms, lest they be canceled.


I have been following the Sheppard case and the Franks case the last couple of years with a somewhat dispassionate interest. The wheels of justice grind and they do grind slow.


Back to Top