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Randy Townsend Announces Run for Watauga County Sheriff in 2014

Dec. 10, 2013. In a letter below, Randy Townsend announces that he will file for the office of Watauga County Sheriff in the upcoming election. Len Hagaman is the current sheriff of Watauga County. 

Dear fellow citizens of Watauga County,

I am excited to announce my intention to file for the office of Watauga County Sheriff in next year’s election as the Republican candidate. 


Born and raised in this area, I graduated Watauga High School in 1988, and then went on to Appalachian State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.  I reside in the Rutherwood / Deep Gap community and attend Rutherwood Baptist church.  

My career in law enforcement spans 25 years in which I have worked as a Deputy Sheriff under former Sheriff Red Lyons and as a police officer for the Appalachian State Police Department. Currently,

I am Chief Probation / Parole Officer for Watauga County, a department in which I have worked for the past twenty one years.

I chose a career in law enforcement because of my strong dedication to protecting the public and as your Sheriff my #1 goal will be to ensure that our county is a safer place to live, conduct business, and raise a family. 

My top priorities as Sheriff will be the following:

 1. Aggressive Enforcement of Illegal Drug Activity– Target the drug dealers that are manufacturing and selling drugs to our youth and adults in our communities. This is extremely important because these are many of the same offenders that are breaking in to citizen’s homes, committing larcenies, frauds and violent crimes to fund their drug addictions. 

2. Crime Prevention – Reduce crime through education and a highly visible patrol of all neighborhoods and businesses in the county while actively seeking citizen’s involvement.

3. Office of High Standards and Values – Will supervise and maintain a Sheriff’s office of high standards and values that is accountable to the citizens of Watauga County.   

4. School Safety – Will work closely with the school administrators to be sure that officers are well-trained and prepared to respond when school incidents occur.

5. Quality Investigation – Officers will physically respond to calls. Crimes will be professionally investigated given the detail and commitment that the citizens expect and deserve.

In the upcoming months I look forward to meeting and talking to you all and to share the following goals that I have for your Sheriff’s office:

  • Immediately begin reviewing each division within the department to make any needed improvements.
  • Continuously strive to provide the citizens of Watauga County with a professional, honest and well-trained Sheriff’s office.
  • Will always keep in mind that this office serves the hard working citizens of Watauga County and will see that your tax dollars are spent efficiently and effectively.

In closing, I am seeking the office of Watauga County Sheriff so that I may use my experience, commitment and supervisory skills to improve the quality and operations in the Sheriff’s office.  I will be a very hard working, hands-on Sheriff, being highly visible throughout the community.  Being part of the day-to-day operations within the department will be of highest priority and ensuring the Sheriff’s department has an open door policy in which I will be available to all citizens to address their questions or concerns. 

The support from the community has been tremendous and very gratifying; I would appreciate your support for Sheriff in the 2014 election. Thank you.


Randy L. Townsend