Candidates for Jackson Co. Sheriff Begin Campaigning

Monday, the race for Jackson County Sheriff kicked off. Candidates gathered for the first major campaign event with the Jackson County Republican Women. For the first time, candidates for Jackson County Sheriff came together to share their platforms with Jackson County.

The Jackson County Republican Women invited the candidates to a luncheon debate after the qualifying deadline passed on Friday. Jeff Barnes, Charlie Britt, Bob Cochran, Mike Ezell, Bruce Lynd, Scott McIlrath, and Shelia Smallman are all running. As candidates start going door-to-door and printing signs, they all have one goal in mind, making the Sheriff’s Department something Jackson County can be proud of.

Barnes says, “I want this county to be the safest county in the state. I want this county to be the landmark county where people say, ‘I want to go there and live because it has great law enforcement.’”

Barnes has 29 years of law enforcement experience and has run for Sheriff before, but new to the race is Bob Cochran. Cochran moved to the Coast with the Navy in 1995 and is passionate about his service and his community. Cochran says, “I believe in community service. I feel that officers need to get out into the community, no matter if it’s in community programs, football, basketball.”

For candidates in the Jackson County Sheriff’s race, proving their integrity and honesty to the people of Jackson County is one of the most important parts of their campaign. Barnes closes, “My leadership, my skills, and my ability, that’s going to remove the cloud that’s over the Sheriff’s Department at this time, and bring back professionalism, honor, and integrity and the faith in the citizens it serves.”

Candidates are now putting up lawn signs, decorating their cars, and handing out fliers as they campaign to be Jackson County’s next top law officer. Shelia Smallman was not at the luncheon Monday and has not been immediately available to discuss her campaign. The candidates will face off November 4th.

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