PITT COUNTY, NC (WITN) The new sheriff and district attorney in Pitt County are both reflecting on what it will mean to be the first African Americans to serve in these positions.
Paula Dance was elected sheriff while Faris Dixon was elected district attorney.
Dance says, "I never ran on being an African American. I never ran on being a woman. I ran on qualifications and experience and the people answered."
Dixon says he never really considered his race during the campaign either, but says diverse backgrounds can only help create change from the inside and for those looking in.
Dixon says, "I hope it does encourage some kids to come to the legal field or law enforcement that they wouldn't have thought of before."
Calvin Henderson, Pitt County NAACP President says, "It's remarkable to see this type of wave across where people of color are beginning to take their rightful place."
Henderson hopes the election of Dance and Dixon will lead to solutions to his concerns over judicial issues like sentencings and pre-trial policies.
Henderson says, "The people of Pitt County have sent a message that it is time for a change."
He also believes it was Dance and Dixon's experience working in the county that caught voters attention.
Dixon worked in the district attorney's office for 13 years while Dance in the sheriff's office for 26.
Dance and Dixon both say they are already starting to think about the transition process.
Dance will be attending a conference with sheriff's from around the state next week. She'll be sworn in December 3. Dixon will begin as district attorney in January.