A sheriff of 24 years was voted out of office Tuesday. Now two men, both of whom served as deputies for the sheriff, are running to take over his seat.
Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown will continue to serve in that role until the first week of December.
Hans Miller won the Republican primary Tuesday night with 68% of the vote. He was a Marine for 26 years, an SBI agent for 12 years, and the Police Chief at Albert J. Ellis Airport.
Miller and his Democratic challenger, Scott Himes, both worked as deputies for Sheriff Ed Brown.
Himes says he was actually fired by the sheriff in the 1990's and then re-hired in 2004, which the county confirms. He's now studying criminal justice at Coastal Carolina. He also served in the military, army and navy.
As for why he got fired initially, Himes says Sheriff Brown didn't agree with him staying overnight at his girlfriend's house.
Himes says there were rumors he would step aside and let Sheriff Brown take the Democratic nomination, but the Board of Elections says Brown can not run for sheriff in November. That's because he lost in Tuesday's primary.
After nearly a quarter century in office, Onslow County sheriff incumbent, Ed Brown, loses the race in a landslide to challenger Hans Miller.
With all precincts reporting, Miller ended the race with 68% of the vote.
Brown took 32% of the Onslow County vote for sheriff.
"It's a pleasant surprise but it's not a large surprise," said Miller at his victory party. "Considering the amount of encouragement I've been given from people all over this community. I'm ready to work for them."
Brown was first elected to office in 1990 and has since served 24 years as sheriff.
"The Lords' will has been done," said Brown at his post-election gathering. "We'll move on with our life."
According to state law, Brown cannot run as a write-in candidate or unaffiliated in the November election after losing in his primary.
Miller will face Democrat Scott Himes in the November election.
Himes is a former deputy with the department, and says he was fired by Brown because the sheriff didn't agree with Himes staying at his girlfriend's house overnight.
"I've got to enforce the laws of Onslow County and the constitution and state laws," Himes told WITN. "I have no time to discriminate or judge people on what they do."
The general election is November 4th.