UPDATE -- 11:30 a.m.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has appointed Donald Valenza as the Sheriff of Houston County, effective August 18th, 2014. Valenza will fill the vacancy created upon the resignation of Sheriff Andy Hughes.
The Houston County Republican Committee selected Valenza on Monday night to replace Hughes on a full time basis in November.
Houston county chief deputy Donald Valenza will be taking over as the next full-term sheriff of Houston County.
He will represent the Republican Party on this upcoming November ballot. After hearing each of the candidates speak, the Houston County executive committee deliberated for about 35 minutes before Valenza was announced as the next sheriff. Valenza has served with the Houston County Sheriff's Department since 1980. During his career, Valenza has served under four sheriff's, e has been the chief deputy since 2007.
"Well my goal is to keep the Houston County Sheriff's Department prestigious. The recognition we have at this time throughout the state of Alabama is great. I want to keep Sheriff Hughes' legacy. He set the presence for us and we want to keep it going," said Valenza.
An interim to replace Sheriff Andy Hughes has not been appointed. There is no word if Governor Robert Bentley will appoint the candidate selected by the Houston County Republican Party. The interim will serve as sheriff until November.
Sheriff Hughes' last day will be on August 17th. He has taken a job as the assistant director for homeland security with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.