LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For more than 15 years, Kent Henson has been the sheriff in Angelina County, but things are about to change.
This term, republican candidate Greg Sanches and democratic candidate Thomas Stewart are running against each other to take on the role as sheriff. They are both natives of Lufkin and have different reasons why they should be the next Angelina County sheriff.
In August, a primary voting mishap led democrats to nominate a new candidate; they placed Thomas Stewart on the ballot.
"With the previous democratic nominee making the mistake of actually voting in the republican primary and was disqualified there was an opening for me," Thomas Stewart said.
Greg Sanches explains, "This was a long election cycle. It was really a strange time this time because of the way it was prolonged."
Sanches and Stewart both come from law enforcement backgrounds and say they each have always considered running for sheriff. They both believe several changes can be made in the county.
Stewart said, "There's several things and actually the problems that they have are going to have to be dealt with from the inside out. There are some investigative issues that I see, but there are a lot of things that could be corrected that has to be corrected from the inside out."
Sanches said, "I would like to enhance the investigation unit. I think we've been slacking a little on some investigations that people have not been real happy with, and I'd like to do a better job there. There's just a lot of improvement that I think needs to be done for the folks."
The candidates went on to explain how they can make improvements within the sheriff's department.
"There are a lot of things that need to be taught to the guys that hadn't been done. I can bring that to the department, and I am very, very dependable. Our service is for the people not for the entity itself, so it's a service organization and we need to provide a service," Stewart said.
"When a new sheriff comes in they've got their ideas of the way things ought to be and I think I look at it from a stand point of the experience that I've got. I think I see a lot of things that definitely could be improved from a stand point of more of a modern enhancement," Sanches said.
Stewart expressed, "This is a race and we're both running for a position. And the best man will win or shall I say one of us. We're both good men. One of us will win this race."