Neshoba County Sheriff will not seek re-election

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (WTOK) - After 8 years as Neshoba County Sheriff, Tommy Waddell is retiring.

"Today is the first day for the candidates to start qualifying and to run for public office, but after a lot of thought, I will not be a candidate. I have decided to retire,” says Sheriff Waddell.

Sheriff Waddell says after 36 years, total, in law enforcement, he is ready to spend quality time with his loved ones.

As of now, three hopeful candidates will appear on the primary ballot. Neshoba County Chief Investigator Kevin Baysinger is one of the three.

"The reason I’m in law enforcement is, I was in college, graduating East Central. It was time to go to engineer school. A patrol car came by the parking lot and The Lord said 'I want you driving one of those instead of being in the back of it' so I have dedicated my life to law enforcement,” says Baysinger.

Former Carthage Chief of Police and candidate Kenny Moore hopes to return to law enforcement as Sheriff.

"I’ve spent all my adult life, I’m 52 years old. And I’ve spent 26 years of it in law enforcement. So I think once you start, it gets in your blood and you really know nothing else to do. So I thought I could retire but I couldn't,” says Moore.

Constable Ken Spears says he is focusing on the people.

"What makes a good sheriff is getting out here and helping the people. That's my main goal is to get out and help the people. The elderly people, they are a big concern of mine,” says Spears.

More candidates are expected to join the sheriff's race. The 2019 primary election is August 6.