Potter challenges Henson for sheriff

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

Bluff City Police Chief Ken Potter kicked off his candidacy for Carter County Sheriff Friday on the steps of the Old Courthouse with a Christian theme and the battle cry, "It's time!"
   The Rev. Frank Blevins, pastor at First Baptist Church in Bluff City, opened the announcement ceremony with a prayer, and supporters stepped up to the podium to say a few words in Potter's behalf.
   Kim Birchfield, who has spent 24 years in law enforcement, told those gathered for the 10 a.m. press conference that he has worked with Potter on several occasions and has come to know him "as a dedicated individual, a firm but fair individual and a deeply honest individual."
   "I know him to be focused on the well-being of the youth of our community and to serve loyally those people in this community," Birchfield said. "I also know that Ken's heart is now, and has been for a number of years, right here in Carter County. But above all and beyond that, I know Ken Potter to be a Christian man. Better than that, I know Ken Potter to be a practicing Christian man.
   "He has the unique ability to apply his Christian morals and ethics to not only his everyday personal life but also to his everyday professional life. And armed with these beliefs and these virtues, he is fiercely dedicated to the task of law enforcement in this area."
   Potter said his decision "comes after much prayerful thought, lots of consideration, tons of support from people like you that have been calling me and supporting me and asked me to enter this race. It is, therefore, that I have decided to do so, so that us working together as a team can improve the quality of law enforcement in Carter County."
   Potter said the public should feel free to call him at 543-6048 with any issue. "I will always be as close to you as you can reach over and dial your telephone. ... I want you to bring your ideas to me so that together we can work to make it a better and safer Carter County."
   A Carter County native, Potter has more than 30 years' experience in law enforcement, from road deputy to investigator to chief deputy to chief of police. Prior to becoming police chief of Bluff City, he served from 1990-1996 as Chief Deputy of Carter County, 12 years as chief of police for the city of Watauga, and a number of years in law enforcement in Georgia. He graduated from the Northeast Georgia Police Academy in 1972.