Cumberland County sheriff talks re-election, as numbers grow

Published 12:28 am Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Editor’s note: The original version of this story had the turnout listed at 90% for Cumberland. It turns out the state’s data collection system malfunctioned and was practically doubling the actual numbers listed. That’s why the overall numbers didn’t match the Cumberland County sheriff and a few other races. The data has been updated. 

We finally have winners in all races across Cumberland County. When all was said and done, 44.43% of Cumberland residents cast a ballot, that’s 3,297 people. And while in some cases, candidates had to wait until Monday night to find out if they won, there was one race in the county over on Election Night. 

Cumberland County’s Sheriff Darrell Hodges took the majority in his reelection with 2,847 votes out of 3,228, earning him 88.20% of the vote. It wasn’t just one or two precincts that came out in support of him either. When the data was broken down, Hodges earned more than 80% of the vote in each of Cumberland’s five precincts. Precincts 1 and 4 had the highest support for Hodges, with 86.2% voting for him in 1 and 87.2% in 4. 

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“Not to sound cliche, but I am honestly humbled and very honored that the residents want to keep me,” said Hodges. “It’s very flattering, to be honest.”

As for what drew residents to support him? What The Herald staff heard on Election Day and in the days since is a very simple thing: people appreciate the low crime numbers in Cumberland. 

Looking at low crime numbers

In 2022, the state reported that Cumberland saw 84 reported crimes against property. It’s a dramatic drop when comparing that to the 270 property crimes reported in Buckingham County and 514 reported during the same period in Prince Edward County. 

When discussing the numbers, Hodges attributed them to the Cumberland community. Cumberland has a small population, but the people look out for each other. This, along with some strategy from the Sheriff’s Office, Cumberland has been able to keep these numbers low before, during and after the pandemic. For his next term, Hodges said he doesn’t plan to change what’s working. Instead, the department will just keep doing the work that residents are happy to see. 

“I plan to do the service we’ve been doing and keep the lowest crime rate,” said Hodges. “I hope to keep people happy and continue to be the department residents can be proud of.”

Finals from Cumberland County

We have other final results in Cumberland County, with Bryan Paul Hamlet taking the District 1 seat on the Board of Supervisors. He finished with 55% of the vote. John Newman, meanwhile, took the District 2 seat on the board with 66% of the vote. The races for districts 3, 4 and 5 had been decided on Election Day, with just one candidate and very little write-in vote. The same goes for District 1, 3 and 5 of the Cumberland School Board.