ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Sheriff's candidate Allen Hill says it's time for new leadership.
"The sheriff is too nice," said Hill.
With 17 years of experience in law enforcement, several of those working right under the Sheriff, Hill says he knows just where to step in.
"I've worked criminal cases my whole life. I know what the sheriff's office faces. I know the issues we have. I know how to fix them. I don't have to call people in to tell me what needs to be done. I know what the problems are, and they're easy fixes," said Hill.
Hill also says personal experiences have helped shape the officer he is today. Earlier in his campaign, Hill admitted to using marijuana when he was a teenager. It's something he's not proud of, but Hill says the experience taught him to make better decisions.
"I'm not the same person I was 30 years ago. I've worked really hard to get where I am now," said Hill.
Some East Texans assert that Hill portrays qualities similar to the current Sheriff, Kent Henson. While Hill admires Henson's leadership, he says he plans to approach the position with firmer leadership.
Like his opponent, Sheriff's candidate Greg Sanches also wants to implement change in the Sheriff's office.
"I'm a person that speaks the truth and will stand up for the folks and will try to take care of business and do it in a professional manner," said Sanches.
Sanches has worked for DPS in Angelina County for 29 years.
"You're trained well. You learn a lot of good discipline and financial responsibility as well," said Sanches.
With that experience, he hopes to bring fresh ideas to the table. As a part of his plan, Sanches says the Sheriff's department needs to modernize computers and telephones.
"Technology has changed, so we need to look at some better ideals there. Sex offenders, I'd like to revamp that to make sure we're doing a better job there. And, patrol, that's one of the things we need to really work on to make sure the neighborhoods are patrolled better," said Sanches.
Both candidates concur, if elected to be Sheriff, the seven point six million dollar budget allotted to the department must be spent responsibly.
Sanches says tax payer dollars that go into the department are valuable.
"We use their money wisely, and there's a lot that I look at there that could be cut," said Sanches.
As a part of budget cuts, Hill says he would see that the department rebids for cheaper food contracts for inmates and purchases more fuel efficient cars through drug seizure money.
"Every penny helps. I intend to do away with some of the take-home cars. I believe there's too many. If it's not necessary, they won't get it. I'm sorry. It's a business to me. If I can't justify it to the commissioners, then I'm just, I'm not going to do it," said Hill.
With decades of law enforcement under each of their belts, the choice will be up to East Texans to decide which is the better man for the job. Early voting for the Primary Election takes place May 14th through May 25th. The regular election is May 29th. The winner of the Primary will advance to the General Election on November 6 to face Democrat Jim Hodges, who is running unopposed in the Primary.