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Sheriff hopefulls gearing up for Tuesday vote
Floyd Mark
Mark Floyd
Mark Floyd, Republican candidate for sheriff, said he is not a negative person and he has not run a negative campaign.
“I just think it’s time to get a younger sheriff, to bring in some new energy,” Floyd said.
The incumbent Democratic candidate, Sheriff Don Martin, said he is pretty confident about the election and has worked hard.
“I’ve been here 16 years. We have made some changes, but we’ve done them gradually so we don’t get into trouble. There are some more changes we would like to make, but that’s up to the people now. The people and the Lord,” Martin said.
Floyd said, “I would beef up patrols in the community, and I think the deputies should be more involved in the neighborhoods.” The candidate said he’s not making a lot of promises before he can identify how they would be paid for. Floyd said he thinks the department probably is understaffed for patrol deputies, but that funds would have to be found for improvements.
Martin has said that in his 16 years, he’s had "more experience than anyone could gain anywhere else." He said his department solved 51 percent of its felony cases, which he called astronomical. “My principal concern is taking care of the children. I want to see them protected — the big ones and the little ones. They are the future of the world,” Floyd said.
During an NAACP political action forum at Brewton-Parker College on Oct. 16, Floyd also talked about the roles police officers play in the community.
“I want kids to realize that a policeman can be a nice person.” He pointed out that children too often only know police when a parent or sibling gets in trouble with the law and then harbor negative feelings toward police.
Floyd is a political newcomer, as Martin was 16 years ago when he defeated incumbent Sheriff Bobby Sikes in a runoff.
Martin scored a primary victory in July, taking 61 percent of the vote while facing three opponents. Floyd captured the Republican nomination with 76 percent of votes.
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