Berrien sheriff candidates line up - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Berrien sheriff candidates line up

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August 22, 2007

Nashville --  It's the first day candidates wanting to enter the Berrien County Sheriff's Race can qualify and already seven people have thrown their hats into the ring. And the board of elections expects there may be more. The race has generated so much interest, they've also seen a record number of people signing up to vote.

Former Sheriff Jerry Brogdon served in Nashville for over 22 years. His recent resignation has created a buzz in the community on who would fill the vacant seat. It's generated so much interest, the board of elections has seen an increase in people who want to vote.

"We've had a lot of people who have turned out this week to register to vote that have never voted before in their lives and we are very proud of that," said Election Supervisor Christina Allen.

And an equal number of candidates wanting to run in the Special Election scheduled for September 18th. "We have possibly eight candidates that will be on the ballot this year," Allen said.

Qualification for the election began at 8:30 Wednesday morning, and Cook County Deputy James Watson was one of the first in line. "It's unfortunate about the circumstances that we are having this election now," he said. "But I want to come in and take this department from where it's at and make it one of the most respectable and professional departments in the state."

And others like Berrien Co. Investigator Tonie Bennefield are not far behind. "It's been a goal my entire life. I got in law enforcement 17 years ago, and as I progressed from small agencies to the sheriff's office in Berrien County."

All have big ideas for both the county and the department. "I've lived here my entire life. I now have a six month old daughter and I want to make sure she has a safe place to grow up just like I did," said Watson.

"Our children need to go to school without worrying about drugs and violence and I hope and pray we can push for that," said Bennefield.

So far, Bennefield, Watson, and five other candidates have officially entered the sheriff's race. Qualification will continue until 4:30 Friday afternoon.

All candidates who enter the race will participate in a debate scheduled for September 4th. They will fill Brogdon's unexpired term through December 31, 2008.

  • Here are the candidates who have qualified so far:

Anthony Heath

Jeston Connell

Danny Hendley

Tonie Bennefield

James Watson

Ben Davis

Wesley Griner

 


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