HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — History was made Wednesday as Henrico County swore in its first female, and first African American sheriff all-in-one.
After serving in the Henrico Sheriff’s Office for more than 20 years, Alisa Gregory won the November election – besting Republican Bob Matson and independent Tom Wadkins – to become the county’s newest sheriff with more than 55 percent of the vote.
“It’s still like, pinch myself because I can’t believe its real,” Gregory told 8News.
Speaking about the milestone, Gregory told 8News the historic moment feels “unreal,” adding that she is excited for the years of hard work to come.
While the new title may bring about new responsibilities and challenges, Gregory said she is going to remain the person she’s always been.
“This is who I am, this is who I am every day,” Gregory said. ‘If you come and see me tomorrow, this is the same person you will get. This was the same person I was in 1998 of September when I first started. It is just me. I don’t know any other way.
Sheriff-Elect Gregory officially begins her term in office on January 1. She said one of her biggest priorities moving forward will be rehabilitating inmates back into life at home.
“You need to listen and find out where they are, and where the issues are,” Gregory said. “Sometimes, it’s not that you can do something, its that you listen. How do you know what someone needs if you don’t listen to them?”
Endorsed by outgoing Sheriff Mike Wade, Gregory said her excitement hasn’t waned more than a month after the election.
“How do I really feel? Right now I’m sitting here but on the inside, I’m flipping and jumping and screaming,” Gregory told 8News. “I know they say that’s not the way a sheriff is supposed to act, so I’m calm collected and cool.”
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