Brian Estes will be Lee County’s next sheriff. Source: Facebook

Brian Estes, a major with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and one of three candidates seeking the office of Lee County Sheriff in the 2022 election, will be appointed to fill the remainder of Sheriff Tracy Carter’s term beginning on Jan. 1, The Rant has learned.

Jennifer Gamble, clerk to the Lee County Board of Commissioners, said Wednesday that the Lee County Republican Party’s executive committee had voted to recommend Estes for the position and that the county was waiting for confirmation of the recommendation in writing. The Lee County Board of Commissioners is required by law to appoint the person recommended by the party of the elected official vacating the office.

“I’m honored to serve out the rest of the sheriff’s term, and we’re going to continue to provide the same level of professional service to the citizens,” Estes said Wednesday.

Gamble said county officials are preparing to bring the GOP’s recommendation to the Board of Commissioners at its Dec. 13 meeting.

Carter announced on Nov. 1 that he would resign effective the first day of 2022 after serving in the office since 2006. He had previously announced in January that he wouldn’t seek a fifth term, opening the door for multiple candidates to announce that they would seek the office.

Estes was the first, announcing his bid four days later. Former deputy Tim Smith, a Republican, announced his candidacy in February, and Democrat Carlton Lyles, a retired major with the sheriff’s office, announced his bid in April. Filing for the seat opens Dec. 6.