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SPRING HOPE CANDIDATE FORUM

Mayoral candidate cops to past DWI, marijuana arrests

Posted on October 8, 2021

Updated on October 11, 2021

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Spring Hope residents Eva Denton, left, and Charlene Battle, right, question mayoral candidate Kyle Pritchard, center, about his driving while impaired conviction and accusations of drugs and domestic violence after Thursday's forum at the Community Building.

Lindell J. Kay | Enterprise

Spring Hope residents Eva Denton, left, and Charlene Battle, right, question mayoral candidate Kyle Pritchard, center, about his driving while impaired conviction and accusations of drugs and domestic violence after Thursday's forum at the Community Building.

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

Spring Hope mayoral candidate Kyle Pritchard, seen here in his 2018 booking photo, said during Thursday's candidate forum that his drunken driving arrest turned his life around.

Spring Hope mayoral candidate Kyle Pritchard, seen here in his 2018 booking photo, said during Thursday's candidate forum that his drunken driving arrest turned his life around.

SPRING HOPE — A mayoral candidate received a driving while impaired conviction three years ago and a drug count as a teenager.

Kyle Pritchard, 37, said the DWI turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to him because it made him rethink his direction and improved his family life.

The revelation came Thursday during a candidate forum hosted by The Enterprise at the Spring Hope Community Building.

Town resident Eva Denton questioned Pritchard about his criminal convictions and voiced her concerns on whether that would affect the town’s ability to receive state and federal grants if he’s elected.

Authorities pulled over Pritchard in 2018, originally charging him with DWI, resisting a police officer and reckless driving with wanton disregard of the rights and safety of others.

“When I got my DWI, I’m not going to lie, I was really drunk,” Pritchard said. “I was not convicted with assault on an officer. It was actually resisting arrest. It wasn’t assault. It’s because I couldn’t comply. I didn’t know what I was doing, I was so drunk.”

Pritchard was convicted of the DWI. The reckless driving and resisting charges were dismissed.

Pritchard said he started out as a social drinker and it took a wrong turn. After the DWI arrest, Pritchard looked at his life. He married his longtime girlfriend and they had a child together.

Denton asked how Pritchard can claim he has two decades of hotel contract experience when he’s only 37.

Pritchard said he began cleaning toilets at hotels 20 years ago and moved up through the ranks.

During her time to ask questions at the candidate forum, Denton alluded to Pritchard having a record involving drugs and domestic violence.

After the forum, Pritchard told The Enterprise that he was charged with marijuana possession as a teenager.

Pritchard denied any history of domestic violence.

His opponent, town Commissioner Prudence Wilkins, said she has a clean background that gets checked every six months since she works for a major financial institution.

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