Harrison County sheriff candidates gearing up for debate

Harrison County sheriff candidates will enter into a debate tomorrow as the election nears.

Sheriff Troy Peterson will step down at the end of the year and a new sheriff will be elected. Two candidates are running: Matt Haley and Louis Elias. Each have their own stories that lead them here.

Haley, who was a captain, never thought he would be sheriff, but when colleagues started asking, Haley answered the call. He has spent over 25 years in the sheriff’s department, working in eight different units. “I started under Sheriff Joe Price — that’s four sheriff’s ago — in the corrections division. From the correction division, I’ve literally done almost everything there is to do in the agency except fly the helicopter, and I don’t want to do that.”

Louis Elias spent time with the sheriff’s department as well. In his 15 years at the department, he’s worked in five different units and was ranked Major Elias. Elias knew since he was a child he wanted to be sheriff one day. “That day was extremely powerful when I knew the time was here and signed the papers saying that I was definitely running. We’re excited. We’ve worked really hard — been on the campaign trail since last June.”

Neither of these candidates has been in a debate before, but they are ready for the challenge. Haley said, “I feel good about it, I feel good about it. You know, the Republican Club, they’ve come up with the questions. Neither one of us know what they’re going to be. I’m sure it’s going to be on key issues and things that are going on in the community today.”

Elias said, “I’m excited. I think that it’s probably one of the best parts of our political process here in the United States. We’re able to discuss our platforms, our specific plans to address the issues that our community faces.”

The debate is Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the MGCCC Hotel Resort Management Center.

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