Two more candidates have announced their intentions to run for sheriff in the special election. Warren Waye and Mark Floyd, who both ran for sheriff in 2008, are embracing the opportunity to hit the campaign trail again.
Waye said when the community demanded a candidate with law-enforcement experience, he knew it was time to throw his hat back into the ring.
Waye, who has lived in Midway for 20 years, said he is a 14-year law-enforcement veteran. He spent 10 years with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office as the school resource officer and four years at Fort Stewart as a civilian DoD officer. He is currently employed as a community policing officer in Brunswick.
Floyd, who owns Southern Waste Services, said he thinks the county needs a “working sheriff” and that’s exactly the kind he wants to be.
“The people of Liberty County need a working sheriff that will help everyone,” Floyd said. “For me, it’s not about the title, but about the job.”
The candidate said he doesn’t want to focus on defeating opponents as much as he wants to prove himself worthy of the job.
Floyd said he spent 10 years in his teens and 20s working with the sheriff’s office. His father and grandfather both have served as police chiefs.
“I’ve always been around police work, and I’ve always loved helping people,” he said.
Floyd said he wants to be involved in the community as much as possible. He wants to have an open-door policy that will enable residents to talk with him either at the sheriff’s office or at a location of their choosing.
Floyd said he will continue to combat gang and drug activity in the area.
“But the safety of the children will be my top priority,” he said. “They’re our future.”
The candidate believes talking with young people will help them respect the sheriff’s office and other law enforcement officers.
Waye’s political stance echoes his platform from the 2008 race.
“I really want to build a relationship with the community,” he said.
Creating a re-entry program for inmates at the Liberty County jail is another goal Waye would like to see accomplished. The re-entry program would help inmates earn a GED or teach them trade skills that they could use once they are released.
“This program would give them options or something to fall back on when they go back into the community,” Waye said.
The special election was called after Sheriff J. Don Martin died in May. His wife, Polly Martin, was appointed to serve as interim sheriff until the special election.
Jerald Burgess, Steve Sikes and Quinton O’Neal also have announced their intentions to run for sheriff.
While many candidates are coming forward to announce their intents to run for sheriff, a second preliminary candidate has dropped out the race.
Rondy C. Bacon called the Courier’s office Thursday afternoon and said he was leaving the race to concentrate on finishing his degree in criminal justice.
“I was originally thinking of running during the regular elections,” Bacon said. “I’m going back to that original plan and will put my efforts into finishing my degree first.”
He is the second candidate to drop out of the race. Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Keith Moran changed his mind about running a few weeks ago.
Qualifying for the sheriff’s race began Monday and ends at noon today.
Patty Leon contributed to this report.