Coffee runoff heats up - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Coffee runoff heats up

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August 4, 2006

Douglas -- The race for Coffee County Sheriff is heating up. Turnout in the runoff election continues to increase as Tuesday approaches.

The runoff election pits a twenty-eight year law enforcement veteran against a man just wanting to make a fresh change. Interim Sheriff Joe White assumed his role in April after former Sheriff Rob Smith resigned on charges of malpractice and malfeasance in office.

The race for Coffee County Sheriff maybe down to two choices, but that has brought out county voters in high numbers.

The Coffee County Sheriff's office has been the center of controversy in recent year's with former Sheriff Carlton Evans taking his own life as authorities tried to serve a warrant for drug charges in 2000, and just this year former Sheriff Rob Smith resigned from office as part of a plea deal to keep him out of jail.

As controversy has risen so has a candidate who hopes to make fresh changes to the office even though he does not have law enforcement experience.

"I don't have any law enforcement experience at all, but I am smart enough to know that their are some sharp people out there in law enforcement. I'm going to gather them around me and were going to get this thing closed up. It's too big of a job for one man to handle himself, and that's what has been wrong in the past"said Sheriff candidate Jerry Pope. 

We tried to contact interim Sheriff Joe White, to discuss his campaign for Sheriff, but he could not be reached for an interview. Poll workers tell WALB that the turnout for the runoff election is running higher than the primary election.    

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