Sheriff’s race seen as close heading into home stretch

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Randall “Bob” Jordan has posted some solid numbers over the last eight years, but Tim Watkins thinks he can bring even more to the Magoffin County Sheriff’s game.
“It’s like bringing a fresh set of legs into a basketball game,” Watkins, former school board chairman and current jailer, said.
“Since I’ve been jailer I’ve transported so many young people that seem to have given up on life and that has to change,” Watkins added. “I have a strong will and high passion to see our young people have opportunities to grow and become somebody.
“The office of Sheriff is to serve and protect and we need to do both. There’s resources out there that we need to tap into and I have the ability to work with anybody to go after those resources. Even if it seems impossible, I know that together we can achieve goals and increase opportunities for our people and our county.”
Watkins, promising firmness when need be and fairness all the time, is hoping to unseat Jordan in May’s Democrat Primary, but beating back Bob Jordan has never been an easy political task.
Jordan was elected jailer in 1995 and has won back to back terms for sheriff.
In 2003, his first as Magoffin County sheriff, Jordan was presented with a REACH award for his 200 plus DUI arrests, has received seven separate Governor’s awards for DUI arrests, and was named Kentucky Sheriff of the Year in 2006.
“I treat everyone the same,” he said. “The people elected me to uphold the law and that’s what I do. I always try to give young people a second chance, depending on the offense.”
Jordan says his experience is important to having an effective sheriff’s department, and adds that he will continue to fight against drugs and other crimes.
“Over the years, I have established numerous contacts for information on illegal activity, which has led to keeping many drugs off the streets and the return of items to individuals due to burglaries and theft,” Jordan said.
Continuing the fight the illegal drug trade remains a high priority.
“I promised to make fighting drugs a priority and I have kept that promise,” he said. “Most of the arrests made by our office are drug related, whether it be domestic violence, burglary, or possession drugs.
“I will also stay active and keep working with individuals and family members to assist in the drug recovery process.”
Jordan points to his 15 years of law enforcement experience as a primary qualification while Watkins says being jailer has provided training to deal with prisoners and the police field while using his over five years of board chairman experience to tune him into the needs of Magoffin County’s youth.
The Republican side of the run for the sheriff’s office consists of two former sheriff’s deputies in Carson Montgomery and Roger Darin Gullett.
Montgomery, a well known local business owner/operator, served for four years under the late Pat Montgomery.
“I feel that I understand the job and what it takes to get the job done,” he said. “I’ve been out in the public and I know what they want from their sheriff.”
Montgomery says he has several issues he would tackle with the drug problem being issue number one.
“We have a drug problem and it’s a bad problem,” he said. “We’ve got to cut down the availability and use of drugs.”
Montgomery would also like to see more rehabilitation for addicts and more prevention for those headed toward addiction.
“Just putting people who have a drug problem in jail isn’t going to solve anything,” he said. “We need more services for those people to get them off drugs. When we get the drug problem under control, I think a lot of other crimes will slow down because burglary, robbery and crimes like that are related to our drug problem.”
Gullett, who also served under Sheriff Montgomery, is a former Marine and current employee of AT&T working in the Pikeville area.
“I have the physical qualities and the communication skills to better understand the people, along with being an effective leader.”
Gullett, 35 and the youngest of all the sheriff candidates, is promoting honesty, integrity, and faithful service. He also says he will be firm and fair while leading Magoffin County in a new and positive direction.