The day after his big win, Neil Elks says it's still a dream and that he can't believe he won the Democratic primary for Pitt County's sheriff.
"I feel like I'm in a daze and I still don't believe it's true," Elks told WITN. "But when reality sets in, we're very excited and we know we've accomplished a lot."
Elks beat incumbent Mac Manning by a margin of 54% to 46%.
Going into Tuesday, the retired sheriff's captain felt confident in winning, but he wasn't 100% sure.
Barring an unaffiliated candidate filling for November's general election, Elks will take office in December. He says he want to first crack down on crime in Pitt County and build back the public's trust in the sheriff's department.
Earlier this year a former lieutenant was convicted of tipping off the subject of a drug investigation. Michelle Pollard also had her certification called into question after allegations surfaced that she was seen smoking marijuana and entered a wet tee-shirt contest.
"I feel like over the years there's always been a doubt in peoples' minds whether some things were handled right in the department," says Elks. "I want the public to feel sure that their sheriff is going to be handling the concerns of their community."
Elks says he's not too concerned about someone running against him as an unaffiliated candidate in November. 'I've heard no talk about that, I don't know who would be running. I'm not really worried about that," Elks told us.
Pitt County elections director Dave Davis says for an unaffiliated candidate to get on November's ballot, they must submit a petition with the signatures of 4110 registered voters by noon on June 25th. That represents 4% of the registered voters in Pitt County.
Davis says the last time that happened was in 2006 for a county commissioner's seat. The elections director says unaffiliated candidates do not have to change their current party affiliation.
Davis says there is also a write-in option. In that case, for someone to become a qualified write-in candidate, the Board of Elections must receive a petition of 100 registered voters by noon on August 4th.
Challenger Neil Elks edged out incumbent Mac Manning in the Democratic primary for Pitt County Sheriff.
Elks captured 54% of the vote while Manning took 46% of the vote.
There is no Republican running for the sheriff's seat.
Elections results are not official until they are certified by the North Carolina Board of Elections.