George Co. voters say 11 sheriff candidates makes deciding difficult

GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

LUCEDALE, MS (WLOX) - George County is just days away from electing that county's top law enforcement official, but many voters say they're still undecided.  Eleven people are vying to become sheriff and fill the shoes of Sheriff Garry Welford, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this year. Some voters say having to choose among so many candidates makes making an informed decision even more difficult.

Back in July, Sheriff Welford lost his life when he was run over trying to stop a high speed chase. Now the people he protected and served are tasked with choosing his successor.

"We're looking for the sheriff that run this town just like Mr. Welford did," said Diana Waguespak. "That's who I want to vote for and it's going to be hard to find that man. "

Over at Aunt Jenny's Country Buffet in Lucedale, some of Thursday's lunch time chatter centered around the 11 sheriff candidates who will be on Tuesday's ballot.

"There's quite a few very good men running for that office. A very wide selection of men," said George County resident Charles McMurphy. "All good men, and it is going to be difficult for us to choose."

Some of the voters say they don't yet know who they'll choose November 2nd.

Resident Chris Smith said, "There's so many candidates right now. You have former judges. You have former police staff and people who've been on the Sheriff's Department for years. A whole plethora of people that are running right now."

"It's going to be difficult," said Smith. "I think everyone has their own little group of supporters. Once they have a runoff and narrow it down to a few, it's going to be a lot easier to decide."

McMurphy said he has insight on what it will take to get the job done.

"I have worked in the Sheriff's Department before... I was Chief Deputy here for seven and a half years," McMurphy said. "I think training is very very important. Leadership ability, as well as administrative ability are all high qualities that a man needs to run that job. It's a very big job."

George County Circuit Clerk Chad Welford said, if necessary, there will be a runoff on November 23rd. He's seen a slight increase in absentee voting this year. As of October 28th, more than 350 ballots had already been cast.

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