JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - If Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd wants to keep his job, he'll first have to best challenger Bruce Lynd in Tuesday's Republican primary.
The three term sheriff spent part of the day Monday shaking hands and letting everyone know he wants to keep his top law enforcement spot.
"We have come a long way since I was sheriff," Byrd said.
On the other side of town, Byrd's Republican challenger was also campaigning to get his name out there.
"This has been a new experience, and I have really enjoyed it," Bruce Lynd said.
This is Lynd's first time running for public office. The Pascagoula police officer admits going up against such a well known name in the community is a challenge, but his message is clear.
"It is time for a change," Lynd said.
If elected, Lynd said he'll hire more qualified deputies, beef up patrols, and cut what he calls "out of control" spending.
"When my opponent took office in 1999, the budget for the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and the Adult Detention Center was just under $6 million," Lynd said. "Today, with federal grants and cost of taxpayers, it is $16 million."
"You can't put a price tag on safety," Byrd said.
Byrd said his focus is to continue to take care of citizens, and that costs money. If he is elected for a fourth term, Byrd plans to invest more money in police training and buy state-of-the-art equipment to help stay ahead of the criminals.
"We have the equipment now to fight these meth labs that we didn't have before that we received through our federal funding, which has been fantastic for the citizens of Jackson County."
The very one thing that these law enforcers do agree on is everyone should make sure their voices are heard Tuesday by voting. The winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Jeff Barnes and independent candidates Walter Bohl and Eddie Stewart.