The public wants Commissioner Robin Knapp to run for Sheriff, but is there a rift brewing with longtime friend, Hans Miller???
Pressure mounts as dozens of Onslow County residents take to Facebook asking and encouraging Commissioner Knapp to run for Sheriff under the Republican ticket. Comments range anywhere from subtle, “…you would make an awesome Sheriff”, to downright pushy, “You need a new front patch that says “SHERIFF”!
Knapp has many years of law enforcement experience, and his combined total federal service is 29 years. Formerly an Air Force Officer, he went on to become one of the most highly regarded and respected Special Agents, and Supervisory Special Agents, ever to serve with the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). He’s experienced in every type of crime up to and including the federal level, and as we understand, has excellent working relationships with all local and state agencies. Needless to say, he has solid connections with virtually any three or four-letter federal agency you have – or haven’t – ever heard of. The qualifications and experience are certainly there, but beyond dropping a few clues Knapp has stayed silent.
But what about the relationship with Hans?
We know from the 2014 Sheriff race that Robin was a huge supporter of Hans Miller, having made multiple Facebook posts encouraging the people to get out and vote for him. Both he and Miller routinely posted images of Miller campaigning, himself with Miller, and of special events. At the time they were rumored to be longtime friends. In October of 2013, Knapp even used a “Hans Miller for Sheriff” logo as the profile pic on his personal Facebook account!
Likewise, Miller was a huge supporter of Knapp throughout his successful bid for Onslow County Commissioner. One of the things Knapp sought to bring to the county was a mental health treatment facility. Miller’s support, though a tad more subtle, was to take to Facebook regularly talking about the counties need for this type of facility…doing whatever he could to get Knapp in the Commissioner’s seat.
With all the recent pressure and grumblings asking Knapp to run for Sheriff, there seems to have been a bit of a toll taken on the relationship with Hans Miller. Aside from the requisite “pat on the back post” dated 3 December which stemmed from Mariah Woods investigation, the normal interaction and support just don’t appear to be there.
The more stable Knapp seems to have even taken a dig at Miller’s facebook self-promotional facebook posts on 8 November in a lengthy and detailed post about leadership….containing a very pointed quip, “Talk is cheap and superficial”, an apparent reference to Miller’s constant political rantings about how great he is.
On three separate occasions in this thread, Miller tried to pipe in and steal some attention with his own leadership philosophies. Despite responding to many other posters, Miller was totally ignored each time by Knapp.
Again on 12 November Knapp was at the keyboard again talking about why he loved Onslow county – the summary being the, “..incredible folks in the LEO community that not only taught me but supported me and believed in me”. Knapp went on to name more than 50 local law enforcement and related individuals in a detailed, by-name listing. Among those individuals, former Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown that Knapp had previously wanted out of office while wanting Miller in.
As an apparent slap in the face, absent from that exhaustive list of “incredible folks” was incumbent Sheriff, Hans Miller. And though Knapp noted that he may have missed some folks, we don’t find it particularly plausible that he forgot the top-dog LEO of Onslow County.
We’re still digging in to see how far this apparent rift goes, but so far it isn’t looking good for Miller.
Whether this is an indication that Knapp will respond to the public’s call we do not yet know. With the Republican Primary only 3 months away and Brown, Yopp, and Miller already duking it out in the ring, Knapp would be late to join the party. Whether Knapp has what it takes to enter the game late and bring his litany of experience to Onslow County, or if he’s backing down to steer clear of Miller’s underhanded mud-slinging, we’ll only know when he answers the mail.
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