A photograph from the Summerfield Founder’s Day Parade celebration has caused quite a bit of discussion in Summerfield, on social media and among others in the county who are interested in local politics. The photo from that day shows Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers and former Sheriff BJ Barnes – who have been in a bitter public battle with each other for over a year – shaking hands in a amicable way.
The picture, which was taken by an employee of the Sheriff’s Department, was posted on the department’s Facebook page and picked up and reposted by others interested in Guilford County and Summerfield politics. For instance, Don Wendelken, who runs the “Summerfield Scoop” Facebook page, posted the now semi-famous photo that has people talking.
Rogers defeated Barnes in the election in November and, since then, the two men have really gone at it – with Barnes stating that the citizens of Guilford County should be extremely worried about life under the new sheriff, and Rogers claiming that Barnes and his top staff sabotaged the transition buy shredding important documents and improperly erasing computer files.
However, on Saturday, May 18, the two men shook hands and had a calm discussion for a few minutes.
Max Benbassat, a spokesman for the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department, said it was good to see the picture of the two shaking hands and engaging in conversation. He said that perhaps it signifies a reduction of tension between Barnes and Rogers and it shows that even people in opposition to each other can find some common ground.
Benbassat added that the conversation was private and only heard by the two men.
“No one will know what they said,” Benbassat said this week.
Barnes, when asked by the Rhino Times about the conversation, said he didn’t want to talk publically about the substance of the conversation – though it can be said that it did include some advice from Barnes to Rogers that Barnes felt Rogers might find useful.