Sheriff’s race pits three candidates

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 3, 2002

Election Day is tomorrow and with that many candidates are scurrying around getting those last minute votes, reminding people why they’re the best candidate for the job.

The race for Dallas County Sheriff has not been in the spot light like the heated race for state representative of district 67, but there are still concerns about who will be the next sheriff of Dallas County. There are three candidates vying for the sheriff’s position. They are incumbent Harris Huffman, Michael Perry and Ulysses Ratcliffe.

All have years of experience in law enforcement and all say they know how to take Dallas County to the next level.

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Whether it’s improving public safety, getting drugs off the streets or having more prayer and leadership in the home… the candidates say they are ready for the challenge as Dallas County Sheriff.

The current sheriff, Harris Huffman Jr. has been sheriff of Dallas County for the past 8 years and wants to continue being a sheriff for “all the people.” Before he was sheriff, Huffman served as a narcotics detective for several years.

This year has come with some surprises for the Sheriff’s race, when Selma Police Department’s Captain Michael Perry announced he would run for the sheriff’s position. Many have said Perry is a formidable candidate and could pose a threat to Huffman’s re-election. But when asked if he worries about the other candidates, Huffman says he’s only concentrating on his campaign.

“If I’m re-elected, I’m going to continue serving the citizens of Dallas County. I will continue to secure grants for our patrol unit and implement a program that would prevent senior citizens from being the target of scam artists and other crimes. We’ll intensify our efforts in getting drugs off the streets

and work with the District Attorney’s office to get a grant for domestic violence prevention,” Huffman said.

He said domestic violence and crimes targeting senior citizens are on the rise and if re-elected, he plans to put reduce those case loads.

Michael Perry announced his candidacy for sheriff in March and has been diligently working on the campaign trail . He’s been with the Selma Police Department for 20 years and is the second highest ranking officer in command, next to Chief Robert Green.

Perry said he’s wanted to be a sheriff since he was a child.

“It’s always been a dream for me. If elected, I’m going to be a sheriff for all the people of Selma and Dallas County. One of the key issues I will look at

is the importance of public safety. It’s time for a change in the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department,” Perry said.

Ulysses Ratcliffe, who recently retired from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department after serving nearly 25 years as sheriff’s deputy. Before that, Ratcliffe worked at the Selma Police Department for several years. Because of that in, Ratcliffe says he would be the ideal person for the job.

“There is so much violence these days with our young people. If elected sheriff, I will work with the citizens of Dallas County to curb the rising violence and drug problem we have in this area,” Ratcliffe said.

It’s clear that all three men are qualified to become to next sheriff of Dallas County. The real test will come when all the votes are counted and the winner steps forward. Will he be able to back-up those campaign promises?

We’ll just have to wait and see.