NESHOBA COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - The position of Neshoba County sheriff is up for grabs for the first time in years. Republican candidate Eric Clark is a former sheriff’s deputy who said if elected, he will take on the position with a great deal of responsibility and care.
“I want to build a sheriff’s department we can really be proud of. I want to look at the way we do business, daily. I want a sheriff’s department where the county can look at and say these guys are well trained, they follow a strict order and they do what they’re supposed to do,” said Clark.
Clark recently gave up his position of Law Enforcement Captain in the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to run for sheriff. He said while out campaigning, he’s heard several concerns from voters.
“I see the people that are riding around and stealing our stuff. I get complaints of that. People are really concerned with the amount of litter problems we are having in the county. Most of these concerns are things that have been voiced in the past, but they still come up when you’re talking to people on a one on one basis,” said Clark.
Democratic candidate Ken Edwards is a 20-year veteran for the United States Navy. During the campaign, Edwards said he has also heard numerous concerns from voters who feel like their voices aren’t being heard.
“A lot of it is response times. When people have an inquiry, getting answers in a timely manner and the community just really feeling like they don’t know what’s going on and when you feel that way, it’s hard. It can leave a bitter taste in your mouth,” said Edwards.
Edwards, who also works as the county’s veteran’s service officer said he will work to combat those concerns and feelings, if elected. Edwards said he believes transparency is key when it comes to being sheriff.
“Social media is a great way of getting the message out. You’ve got all the different media outlets and it will be a blog that I will create from the sheriff’s desk. I can only better serve you if I know what your concerns are,” said Edwards.
Both candidates encouraged everyone to get out and exercise their right to vote on Election Day, no matter who they’re voting for.
After 36 years in law enforcement, longtime Sheriff Tommy Waddell elected to retire at the end of his current term.