Echols residents vote for new sheriff - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Echols residents vote for new sheriff

^Former Sheriff Donald Fender ^Former Sheriff Donald Fender

June 17, 2003

Statenville - Who will be the next sheriff of Echols County? Voters headed to the polls Tuesday morning to make that decision.

Interim Sheriff Randy Courson and former deputy Barry Sasser each hope he'll get the chance. "I think I'll be a positive law enforcement leader for the citizens of Echols County, and just want to serve them the best I can," said Courson.

Sasser, who served as a deputy under former sheriff Donald Fender, declined to comment about the election. He wasn't retained as a deputy under Courson.

Courson says his biggest concern is voter turnout. But as of mid-morning, that didn't seem to be a worry. "They've been coming in steady, and I was really concerned with it being a special election," said Courson.

Courson was appointed sheriff of Echols County this past March. Before that, he served as Chief Deputy under former sheriff Donald Fender for three years.

Probate Judge Carl Rodgers selected the temporary sheriff, and says Courson's done a great job of leading the county. "I wouldn't have selected him if I didn't think he could do the job, and he's made some really positive changes," said Rodgers. "But either way the election goes, we've got two good candidates out here that will both get the job done"

Regardless of who becomes the next sheriff, voters are glad to be moving past the scandal the county faced with the former sheriff. "I want people to know that we're good folks over here, we've had some bad publicity over the past year but we'll get over it," said Rodgers.

Even though he's only been sheriff three months, Courson says he's been a positive change for the department. And if elected, he'll continue to help rebuild the county's reputation.

posted at 3:00PM by ashley.harper@walb.com