Fighting drugs top priority for sheriff's candidates - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fighting drugs top priority for sheriff's candidates

October 19, 2004

Fitzgerald- Bobby McLemore says he has no doubt that he's the best candidate for Ben Hill County Sheriff.

"I've got 11 years experience in law enforcement with Georgia State Patrol, GBI, the Mitchell County Sheriff's Department and also worked at ABAC Public Safety," McLemore says.

As the head of the county's law enforcement agency there are a lot of administrative duties McLemore says he's not only ready, but qualified to handle.

"I taught at East Central Tech for 23 years while working with budgets and grants and there's not anything at the sheriff's department I haven't already done."

He's already began working on an agenda if elected as sheriff.

"Fighting drugs is my number one priority because if we can reduce that we can reduce the other crime in the county also," he says.

"I want Fitzgerald and Ben Hill County to be a place where drug dealers know they are not welcome to be in. It's not going to become a habitat for drug users and drug abusers," says Fitzgerald Police officer Chip Rutherford.

Rutherford may have some of the same goals as his opponent, but he says there are few reasons why he has an edge.

"I'm young I'm energetic. I not retired looking for a place to have a second job," Rutherford admits.

The Ben Hill County native says if elected he'll also be a visible sheriff.

"I want to be involved in every aspect. I want to be out here shaking hands and knocking on doors and talking to everybody even when the campaign is not going on," Rutherford says.

Both may have similar plans to clean up the county, but it will be up to voters to decide whether McLemore or Rutherford will get the opportunity to carry them out.

Even though voters will choose their next sheriff on November 2nd, he won't take office until the first of the year.

Posted at 4:25 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com