Phil Howell, of Laurel Springs, will run for Ashe County Sheriff.

The Ashe Post and Times reports Howell is a 12-year law enforcement veteran and will run as a Republican.

According to the report, Howell has received the North Carolina Heroism Award, the North Carolina Parks Commendation Award and three law enforcement training certifications.

Howell is a former narcotics detective with the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office, and is currently the director of Dispatch.

Howell said he believes narcotics abuse, home break-ins and the interview process for hiring sheriff’s office employees are the three most important issues currently facing the office.