Four want to be Clinch County Sheriff - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Four want to be Clinch County Sheriff

Republican candidate Ferrell Howell Republican candidate Ferrell Howell
Independent candidate, Eddie Griffis Independent candidate, Eddie Griffis

By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

August 8, 2008

HOMERVILLE, GA (WALB) - Long time Clinch County Sheriff Winston Peterson hopes to be re-elected.

He won the run-off election Tuesday to earn his place on the Democrat ticket.

As of right now, he's set to face three other candidates in November. One independent candidate is his own brother, Raymond Peterson.

The Petersons did not return our calls for an interview.  But Eddie Griffis, an Independent,  and Ferrell Howell, a Republican, did.

Eddie Griffis says the decision to run for Clinch County sheriff was easy. He wants a change.

"Talking with the people they talk pretty good about a change, and I feel I can be the man to help them change it," Griffis says.

So he wrote himself in as an Independent candidate.

He says he loves his community and believes some small steps can make it a better place to live.  "We have good drug problems here. I also believe the people need to be treated fair. It don't need to be about what their name is."

But Republican candidate and former Clinch County Deputy Ferrell Howell say he's the best man to make the change and has several ideas on how to do it.

From more deputies, "Right now, we don't have a deputy on duty 24 hours a day, which is unbelievable. I want to have two deputies on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

To more cooperation with other agencies. "I want to get with the Sheriff in Echols and Lanier county, and we've talked about doing a multi-county drug interdiction unit where we take a deputy from each department and work the highways to catch people drug trafficking," Howell says.

Both they say the only way to make a change is to get out and vote in November.

63% of voters turned out Tuesday for the run-off election, breaking records in the county.

The state predicts a 90% turnout in November, thanks to the presidential election and many hotly contested races throughout Georgia.

Sheriff Peterson has been indicted with perjury, false statement and force labor charges.  He is set to appear in Valdosta federal court in September.

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