As of Wednesday, April 23 Jeff Shannon says he has filed to run for sheriff as an Independent. Since Shannon is running as an Independent, he cannot participate in the primary election (which is June 3) and the public must wait until the general election if they want to vote for him. The general election is November 4.
Independent candidates have until April 29 to register.
The deadline to register to vote in the 2014 primary election is May 19. Candidates in counties across the state are out gathering support for their campaign.
Three candidates have filed to run for Fall River County Sheriff.
Sheriff Rich Mraz, Fall River County, has been in law enforcement for nearly 30 years. "I don't know any other job and I kinda like being the sheriff," laughed Mraz.
He says during his first term, he's stayed within budget and he has been gradually updating the 911 dispatch center. "It's a small area and I'd like to expand it a little bit," said Mraz. Additionally, he says he knows something needs to be done about the outdated and overcrowded jail, but he can't get the funding. "As the sheriff I can't just say I want $5 million to update the jail," said Mraz. "The county commissioners must decide, not the sheriff."
Mraz says the most important part of his job is serving the citizens and providing public safety. If elected, he says he'll keep doing a good job for the people he protects.
One of Mraz's former deputies, Scott Davis, is also running. Davis served as a deputy sheriff in Fall River County for four years. He resigned from the position in September 2013. He says he's running for sheriff to make significant changes in the department. "We've been doing some of the same things for so long," said Davis. "It's become common procedure, common practice. We're in a rut."
David says the current sheriff's department doesn't work well with the public. "In order to be more effective in protecting the community, we need the community be involved," said Davis. He says if elected, he would work more with community-action groups.
Davis also says he wants to make changes to the jail. "Show the county commissioners the 'what's' and 'why's,' instead of butting heads," said Davis.
Lastly, Hot Springs Police Chief Bob Evans is running for Fall River County sheriff. Evans has been in law enforcement for around 20 years. "The public approached me about running for sheriff," said Evans. "At first I wasn't interested, but the more I thought about it, the more excited I got."
Evans says he knows he will have some new things to learn if he transfers from chief to sheriff, but he too is planning on tackling the jail-issue. "I've been on a committee to build a new jail and we don't
seem to be getting too far with that," said Evans. "I want to get closer with the county commissioners and work with them on best interest of city."
Evans says because he is born and raised in Hot Springs, he knows the community on a personal level. He says he has the right personality to be sheriff. "A low key and personable-type person," said Evans.
All three candidates say they've got a pretty good shot a the sheriff's badge.
The primary election is June 3.