PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — When Carson Smith announced he would not run for another term as Pender County Sheriff and instead run for the General Assembly, it set off a mad rush to the Board of Elections in Burgaw to register to run for the office.In all, eight candidates, including seven Republicans signed up to run. In the end, though, that crowded Republican field did not lead to a narrow race. In fact, one candidate wound up with more votes than all the other candidates combined.- Advertisement – Alan Cutler made easy work of his six opponents garnering 50.07 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary. The next closest contender, Randy Burton, finished with less than 18 percent of the votes cast.“We tried to concentrate on the number one concern of the community, which is the opioid crisis that we are suffering in our area,” Cutler said. “We’ve said if that’s the number one concern in the community, then it needs to be the number one priority of the Sheriff’s Department.”Cutler now heads to the general election in November, where he will face Lawrence Fennel, who is the only Democrat to run for sheriff.