Cocke County Elects Hispanic Sheriff

Cocke County is often denigrated as being the redneck capital of the world, and most news from that county has to do with moonshine, chop shops, marijuana growing, and cock fighting. But would you believe it is also a model of diversity?

Newport, the county seat, has had a black mayor. And now the county has elected a Hispanic sheriff. Deputy Armando Fontes, who was hired some years back to be an interpreter for the department, won the top job.

Fontes ran as an independent and beat Republican candidate Alton Cureton, who had defeated the current sheriff in the primary.

A further example of diversity? The heavily Republican County has a Democratic House member.