Who will be Smith County's next sheriff? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Who will be Smith County's next sheriff?

WHITEHOUSE, TX (KLTV) - The Whitehouse Chamber of Commerce hosted a debate for Smith County sheriff candidates Tuesday evening.

The debate took place during the annual banquet at the Whitehouse High School cafeteria. All four declared republican candidates participated in the debate.

The four candidates are Smith County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Bobby Garmon, retired State of Texas Game Warden Chris Green, Captain of Smith County Constable Pct. 3 Office Donn Rust and retired ATF Special Agent Larry Smith.

Before answering questions, each candidate had an opportunity to introduce himself and his platform.

Green is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University and has served as a Texas peace officer for 20 years.

"We want to be ethical and transparent, we want to be fiscally responsible with the budget and work for the people," Green says.

Green says he wants to work on networking with other agencies. He says it is essential to know what is going on in surrounding areas. He also wants to see more officers on the street working to protect the people.

"We need more boots on the ground to protect our families, our kids and our personal property," Green says.

Garmon has a total of 34 years in law enforcement, 31 of those years spent with the Smith County Sheriff's Office.  Garmon says he has a passion for people and loves working with kids.

"If I can help one kid, I feel like I've done something," he says.

Garmon says his experience makes him an excellent candidate for sheriff; he worked his way up from Patrolman to Chief Deputy.

"I want the public to know that I am prepared to lead the Smith County Sheriff's Office," he says.

Like Garmon, Smith has spent several years in law enforcement. More than 34 years were spent working his way to from the bottom to the top, working all kinds of cases.

"I've worked homicide cases, burglary, robbery, rape, kidnapping, and arsonist cases from the crime scene through the investigation stage and all the way through the criminal justice system" Smith says.

Smith says it is important to be a leader by example, which is one of the reasons why he is running for sheriff.

"I've worked large scale investigations and I have led men and women," Smith says.

Rust volunteers as Captain of Precinct three Constable's Office. Outside of his time with Smith County, he oversees his family's oil and gas business. He has also owned two Tyler restaurants and a Dallas construction company.

"I'm the only one who can blend 30 years of business experience with almost ten years of law enforcement," says Rust.

"The bottom line is a sheriff is a CEO. He is here to protect you every day and protect you with state law, county law and the constitution and then run it as efficiently as he can," Rust says.

If you are not sure who you want to vote for, do not worry because you have some time to think it over. The primary election for Smith County sheriff will take place in the spring.

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