JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The grueling battle to be Jackson County's top law enforcer has narrowed to two men. Mike Ezell and Scott McIlrath are already campaigning again.
"My 34 years of experience, my education, my background, my dedication to the job and my commitment to my law enforcement profession makes me qualified," said Ezell.
"I still think I am the best man for this job and the most qualified. All my training is current, and I have been a deputy sheriff here in Jackson County. I know that job," McIlrath said.
None of the candidates secured a majority victory Tuesday night, so the two men were pounding the pavement less than 24 hours later to push their platforms before the runoff in three weeks.
"We will be doing what we have been doing all along for the last several months. We will be making phone calls and we will be going door to door. We will be reaching out for all our friends and family and extended folks that have voted for us," Ezell said.
"I have reached out to my opponents that didn't fare so well last night and working on garnering their support and their supporters to come on board with us. We are still knocking on as many doors as we can," McIlrath said.
Several voters admit the job of removing the dark cloud that sits over the sheriff's department will not be easy, but they are hoping one of the candidates can provide the positive change needed.
"There has been a lot of controversy around the sheriff's department, and I think that people have just lost trust, so they are just looking for someone to clean it up a little better," said voter Debra Diamond.
The runoff election will be held Nov. 25. The winner will complete former Sheriff Mike Byrd's unexpired term of one year.
Byrd pleaded guilty to federal and state crimes late last year.