CHARLOTTE – Mecklenburg County voters appeared to elect Garry McFadden to be the Democratic nominee for sheriff in tonight’s primary election, defeating incumbent Irwin Carmichael and challenger Antoine Ensley. With no candidates running for the Republican nomination, McFadden is presumed to be the county’s next sheriff. The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina engaged, for the first time, in the sheriff race, educating voters on the candidates’ positions around immigrants’ rights, police accountability, and the rights of incarcerated people.  

“These results show that voters care passionately about crucial civil rights issues, from police accountability to the rights of immigrants, and they will vote when they see that their rights depend on it,” said Karen Anderson, Executive Director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “We provided the voting public with essential information on civil liberties issues, and the voters demanded justice and accountability from the sheriff candidates. We look forward to working with our members and community partners to hold Mecklenburg County’s next sheriff accountable for ensuring that the rights of all communities are protected.”  

The ACLU invested $175,000 into a county-wide effort to educate voters about the three candidates’ positions on various civil rights issues through radio ads, phone calls, digital ads, and door-to-door canvassing in a first-of-its kind effort for the organization in North Carolina that reached thousands of voters. The ACLU does not endorse or oppose candidates for elected office.    

The ACLU presented voters with information, including radio ads and printed literature, explaining the sheriff candidates’ positions. The scorecard is available here.   

The ACLU is a nonpartisan organization that does not endorse or oppose any candidate for office. The ACLU’s goal is to promote voter education and voter participation.

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