Why I Love Carter County: Sheriff Mike Fraley

Published 4:03 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2022

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Mike Fraley is a lifelong resident of Carter County and graduate of Elizabethton High School. He began his law enforcement career at the Carter County Sheriff’s Office in May 1989. During his career he has worked with every division of the sheriff’s office. In May 2022 he won the Republican nomination for Carter County Sheriff and then went on to win the General Election. He began his service as Sheriff of Carter County on September 1, 2022.
Why I Love Carter County:
1. What do you think makes Carter County unique by comparison to other places?
Carter County is unique because the people here are family. We are fortunate to have some of the most beautiful views in the world. The surrounding mountains, one of the most beautiful lakes ever, and two of the best fishing rivers all in one area. I can’t think of any place that I would rather be than here at home.
2. What is your favorite place to visit in Carter County?
One of my favorite places to visit is on the banks of the Watauga River. It’s a place that you can relax, clear you mind and if you’re lucky, maybe even catch a fish or two! Seriously, I’ve had times where I’ve needed answers, and I’ve been able to sit and pray for guidance and it’s so peaceful there. God painted a picture that we should never take for granted here.
3. Do you think living in Carter County has changed you in any way?
I think growing up in Carter County helped shape who I am today. My parents instilled values in me that help me to this day. My dad never met a stranger, and he doesn’t care if you are the CEO of a company, or the custodian who sweeps the floors, he treats everyone the same. My mom loved everybody and cooked enough to feed an army. She always had an open invitation for dinner at our house, and a lot of people took her up on it. Evenings were always spent on the front porch, with neighbors and friends sitting and talking, and I cherish those days.
4. What is your favorite time of year?
Fall is my favorite time of the year. The cool crisp air, the changing of the leaves, it doesn’t get any better. I challenge you to drive through Carter County and find a more beautiful place to call home. It simply can’t be done.
5. If you were to meet someone planning a visit to the Carter County area for the first time, what places would you tell him or her not to miss?
If I were to meet someone who was visiting Carter County for the first time, I’d have to suggest visiting Fort Watauga. There is so much history there, and those who love history like I do will be very pleased to see how we got started here. I would also have to add don’t think you can see it all in one day. Take a few days and visit Roan Mountain, see the majestic views from the top of the Roan on a star filled night. Visit Watauga Lake and see for yourself why it’s the most beautiful lake in the country. Bring a fishing pole and try your luck on the Watauga and Doe rivers. You’ll be back once you’ve experienced it.

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