Three of the four candidates who plan to seek local office discussed issues after the Thursday meeting of the Patrick County Republican Committee. From left, Eric O’Connell,  Amy Walker (center), and Vance Agee.

There, Eric O’Connell and Vance Agee said they plan to seek seats on the Patrick County Board of Supervisors.

Amy Walker and Betthney O’Connell will seek posts on the Patrick County School Board.

Eric O’Connell

A Floyd County native, O’Connell said he plans to seek the Peters Creek District seat. Currently, he said he works for the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office. He began his career in law enforcement as a Virginia State Trooper assigned to Henry County.

As soon as the state police removed the residency requirement for troopers, O’Connell said he moved to Patrick County.

“The people of this county embraced me,” O’Connell said, adding that when incumbent Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith offered him a job, “what he was offering me was the opportunity to make a difference.”

O’Connell said he accepted the post and began his employment with the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office 11 years ago as the supervisor of major…

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