Two candidates campaigning to be the top law enforcement officer in Jackson County

Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 4:56 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla (WTVY) - Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts is retiring. Now voters have two candidates to choose from during next week’s general election.

The candidates are current Marianna police chief Hayes Baggett and 27-year law enforcement veteran Donnie Edenfield.

Chief Hayes was first elected as Marianna police chief in 2008 and is now serving his 4th term.

“I felt my experience was something that I could provide to the citizens of Jackson County,” Hayes said.

Hayes says the knowledge he’s gained as chief and managing a full service law enforcement agency speaks for itself.

If elected, his plans include working on a county drug problem and being a more involved presence in the community.

“I wanna be more proactive, working on some of the burglaries, following up on some of the crimes that are sometimes just reported,” Hayes said. "Reports are wrote, and nothing’s ever followed up on. So my goal is to be more proactive, be out in the community more, and be more interactive with the citizens.”

Edenfield is a former probation and correctional officer in the court system. He currently serves as a certified police officer..

"A vote for me will be a vote for a true public servant, the person that’s going to put the needs of the citizens of Jackson County above my own,” Edenfield said.

Edenfield wants the sheriffs office to invest in the community and the younger generation. He would bring a teen driving program to young drivers.

“If elected as sheriff, I will ensure that each teen driver in our county is afforded that opportunity at no cost to them or their parents to attend this,” Edenfield said. "Because statistics show that these fatalities occur not due to drugs or alcohol, but due to speeding, not wearing a safety belt, and distracted driving.”

He would raise more awareness on getting help for those with addictions.

“You cant lock someone up long enough to fix and addiction,” Edenfield said. "You gotta help them.”

Both candidates agree residents need to exercise their rights and vote.

The new sheriff will take office January 5th.

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