By JOSEPH MARTIN
ONE FEATHER STAFF
A tribal descendant’s bid to unseat an incumbent sheriff in Swain County failed. Republican Sheriff Curtis Cochran defeated Democratic challenger Rocky Sampson by a vote of 3,354 to 1,895. Sampson, whose father was on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians roll, kept it close in the Whittier/Cherokee precinct where most Qualla Boundary Swain County residents vote as Cochran won that precinct 640 votes to 639.
Cochran said on his Facebook page, “The 2018 election is over, and I have been blessed by the Lord and by the confidence of the voters of this great county to have the honor of serving as your Sheriff for another term. Thanks to everyone that voted, worked in my campaign and braved the nasty weather this morning because they too wanted the people of Swain County to continue with the dedicated law enforcement by the men and women of the Swain County Sheriff’s Office.”
Sampson posted on his page, “I want to take a minute to thank everyone that helped me with this campaign. We worked hard and honest, and we will continue to do so. I truly appreciate all the people that came out to vote and those that worked for our campaign. I have enjoyed meeting all the people and making a lot of very good friends. I was asked if I had regrets. The answer is no. Would I change anything? Absolutely not. I pray God bless and protect each and every citizen of Swain County.”