CHEROKEE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - We continue to look at big races here in East Texas as Primary Day gets closer here in Texas.
For the first time in over two decades, Cherokee County could have a new sheriff.
Incumbent James Campbell has held the office for the past 22 years, but all that could come to an end if challenger Richard Garner, who has worked for Texas Narcotics Control in the past, wins.
Both candidates believe their past experiences in law enforcement give them the upper edge.
"I've worked 28 years in highway patrol and 22 years as sheriff," said Campbell. "I know most of the people in the county and we have a good working relationship with all law enforcement agencies in rural areas and that means a lot. I think we have a sheriff's office that people can be proud of and rely on."
"I worked for Texas Narcotic Control Program for several years," Garner said. "I have worked for Sheriff Campbell as a patrol deputy and worked K9s for many years over here. My background is strictly narcotics, crimes against people, and the county doesn't have that."
Both men have served in law enforcement for several years and have a list of goals they want to accomplish as sheriff, should they win the election.
"I think we need to bring these counties up to date with the other counties in the surrounding area," Garner said. "I want to get the sheriff's deputies out of the cities back into the county, patrolling out there to help cut down on the crime. I'm going to try to bring in intelligence-led policing, which I believe they started in Smith County, and it's proven to bring the crime rate down."
"I would like to keep modernizing our equipment, getting some raises for our employees, and continuing our education," Campbell said. "Getting more education for our employees and staying in with the times is key. Cherokee County is growing, we're over 50,000 people now and the sheriff's office has to grow with it."
If you are registered, don't forget vote here in Texas on March 1st.