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Piper secures sheriffs post
Challenger's write-in bid comes up short

The only candidate on the ballot for Forsyth County sheriff earned the title Tuesday.

Republican Duane Piper received 62,405 votes out of a possible 81,913 ballots cast, easily topping the lone certified write-in candidate, DT Smith.

Based on the totals, not everyone who cast a ballot selected a sheriff’s candidate.

A preliminary review of about 1,500 names written in for sheriff showed about 683 who appeared to have listed Smith’s name, said Barbara Luth, county elections supervisor.

“This is unofficial, so there may be more,” Luth said. “It’s up to the board [of elections] to determine what the voter intent is.”

Some of those included a “TD” or just “DT” without a last name, while others opted for “Donald Duck.”

The board of elections is scheduled to meet Friday to certify the election results.

But with an overwhelming majority of the votes for Piper, the board's meeting is unlikely to change the outcome of the race.

Piper said late Tuesday night that he’s “ready to go to work.”

“I’ll be trying to get in contact with Sheriff [Ted] Paxton tomorrow about a transition,” he said. “I’m hoping that we can work together for the citizens to make it the smoothest transition that we can.”

Piper defeated Paxton, a three-term incumbent, in the Republican primary runoff in August.

“I got a lot more support in this election than I did in the previous two,” he said, “so I have other people that I’m thankful to.”

Smith was in the hospital after having surgery Tuesday and unable to comment, said his wife, Kim.

He is expected to make a “full recovery,” she said.