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10 to Watch: Kevin Auten

Kevin Auten says he was somewhat forced into running for sheriff, running earlier than originally planned.
Though his goal in life was to one day become the sheriff of Rowan County, he was hoping to run an election or two later, but things fell into place when he became interim sheriff last December.
Auten ran against longtime coworker and friend, John Noble. Auten took home 73 percent of the votes, but they both ran a fair and clean campaign, and because of that, their friendship remains.
“He will take the department to another level, I’m sure of that,” Noble said. People “will want to see if he’s going to make any changes or see if he’ll add any new people, or work hard to get new officers, because we need new officers.
“There’s just not enough to do what needs to be done. He needs more personnel, and I’m hoping the commissioners will work with him to get him what he needs.”
Noble said Auten has most likely talked to other sheriffs in the state, getting ideas.
“A lot of the ideas that he had, I had also, so we were thinking on the same level,” Noble said. “All I ask is that the people give him the opportunity for him to show them what he can do because I feel he will do an excellent job as sheriff.”
— Shelley Smith
Name: Kevin Auten
Age: 49
Occupation: Sheriff of Rowan County.
Favorite Book: “Visions of Courage” by Dr. Bobby Smith.
Surprising artist in music collection: Kenny G.
Who will you watch in 2011 and why: I will be watching myself. The voters put their faith in me to be the sheriff of Rowan County, and I will and should be held accountable.

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