April Staton wins Salem Sheriff election by huge margin

Submitted photo
Sheriff April Staton


When April Staton announced her intentions to run for Salem Sheriff, she knew that winning would not be easy. Five other candidates – Tim Sutphin, David Wells, Flint Wright, Richard Goodman and Jacob Carroll – also had intentions of replacing retired Sheriff Ric Atkins.

According to the preliminary results, April Staton received 3,682 out of 8,075 votes cast on Tuesday. The other candidates received the following: David Wells, 1,541 votes; Tim Sutphin, 1,070 votes; Flint Wright, 920 votes; Jacob Carroll, 554 votes; and Richard Goodman, 308 votes.

Behind every winning campaign is a support system. April says the best advice she got throughout her campaign came from a staff meeting in March. “We collectively decided to put the people of Salem before the politics of the race,” she said.

Ann Boyd never doubted that her friend April could win the election. “All along I knew that she was the number one candidate,” she said. “She will be great because of her experience, dedication and professionalism.”

“The most important thing about being Salem Sheriff is maintaining the safety and security of all the local citizens,” she said. “I enjoy the opportunities that we have every day to affect a person’s life. Whether it’s offering a smile, a word of advice, a helping hand or simply being respectful…small gestures can make a huge difference.”

Dan Rawson was disappointed that his candidate didn’t win, but says he is happy for April and thinks she’ll do well. “I didn’t vote for her, but it’s not shocking that she won. She strikes me as someone who will take this opportunity very seriously,” he said.

Over the last 14 years, April has worked the Salem courts, served civil process and transported inmates. She has also served as second in command at the Salem Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Ric Atkins since 2014. “I’ve learned so much from Sheriff Atkins,” she said. “He certainly helped prepare me for this opportunity.”

Raised in Buena Vista, Virginia, April has proudly called Salem home for the last 17 years. “For me, it’s been about building relationships with people,” she said. “I am proud to have served this city first as a street department employee, then as a deputy sheriff and now as Salem Sheriff.”

Tuesday’s victory for April was a culmination of hard work over many years. “The last fourteen years of my life have been in preparation for being the sheriff,” she said. “I am so excited for this opportunity and look forward to our growth in the coming years. We have brilliant, hardworking and dedicated men and women in the office and I see great things happening for us.”