Capt. Mike Miller, of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, won the GOP nomination in his quest to become the county’s next sheriff, according to unofficial election results in Tuesday’s Republican primary.
Miller received 3,904 votes in the primary, or 47.6%, results posted on the Virginia Department of Elections website show.
Kent Robey, a U.S. Army veteran, former Bedford sheriff’s deputy and retired special agent with the Federal Air Marshal Service, received 3,115 votes, or 37.9% while David Wells, a former veteran Roanoke-area law enforcement officer and son of former Bedford Sheriff Carl Wells, received 1,183 votes, or 14.4%.
Miller now is among three candidates seeking to succeed Sheriff Mike Brown, who is stepping down Dec. 31 after nearly a quarter-century tenure. Capt. Tim Hayden, a veteran deputy who oversees the county’s school resource program, and James Kirkland, the Bedford sheriff’s office’s longest-serving K-9 handler, are running as independents in the Nov. 5 election.
Miller, a Bedford native in his mid 50s, joined the sheriff’s office at age 21 and has filled a wide range of roles, from road deputy to managing courthouse security. He spearheaded the development of the school resource officer program and served as the first SRO in Bedford County. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Miller has praised Brown’s work in establishing the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to locate and prosecute online predators and has said he is the best candidate to continue Brown’s legacy.
Miller carried 23 of the county’s 33 precincts while Robey, a Bedford native who previously served in leadership roles in the Campbell and Bedford County sheriff’s offices, won nine precincts, according to election results. One precinct was tied between Miller and Robey. Overall, Miller had 789 more votes than Robey.
In his campaign, Miller has said if elected he would strive to secure better pay for deputies and grow the SRO program without a local tax increase. He has said he would meet those goals by developing a five-year plan to properly allocate resources as the county’s population growth continues.
Bedford County, which leans strongly Republican, drew 8,202 registered voters in Tuesday’s primary, a turnout of 14.5%.
Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.