CRAVEN COUNTY -

Incumbent Jerry Monette has won the Democratic primary for the Craven County sheriff race, and will face off against Republican Chip Hughes in November.

Monette beat Democrat Eric Smith by receiving 53.88 percent of the votes, compared to Smith's 46.12 percent.

On the Republican side, Hughes beat Ernest Thomas by receiving 75.42 percent of the votes.

Monette is vying for his sixth term as Craven County sheriff and said his main focus is and will always be to serve the people. He said he started his law enforcement career in 1994 and doesn't want to pass on the badge just yet.

"I'm relieved and I'm glad to get it behind me. It's been a long day but I'm just ecstatic about the way things turned out," Monette said.

Monette said he wants to keep moving Craven County moving forward in a positive way.

"I thank God and for my family and friends and the fine citizens of Craven County that helped make this possible," Monette told NewsChannel 12. "I intend to work hard and continue to do a good job."

Meanwhile, his Republican opponent in November, Hughes, said he went from poll to poll on Tuesday finding out what it is the people want to see in a sheriff.

"This is so humbling that the people have come out and spoke [Tuesday night]. They got out and exercised their right to vote," said Hughes.

As a former sergeant with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Hughes said he has more than 25 years of law enforcement experience. As chairman of the Governor's Crime Commission, Hughes said his platform is all about public safety.

"I certainly could not have done this by myself, not without the support of my family, friends, close supporters and all the people I had out working the polls during the whole day," said Hughes.

The Board of Elections said the results will officially be announced at 11 a.m. on May 13.