Meet the candidates for Limestone County Sheriff

Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 10:54 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - In Decision 2022, six men want to be the next Sheriff of Limestone County.

At a public forum, five of them addressed a crowd of around 100 of the Athens Limestone Republican Women Club. These men want the job after the longest-serving sheriff in the state, Mike Blakely lost it after being convicted on felony charges.

Those men are current Limestone County Sheriff Joshua McLaughlin, Investigator Jeff Kilpatrick, Retired Chief Deputy Fred Sloss, Retired State Trooper Chris Carter, and Project Manager Eric Redd.

The sixth candidate Retired Deputy Randy King who’s running as an independent was not in attendance.

The five took on five hot topics that they believe are or have been prevalent issues in the county: Shortage of staff, budgeting, drug problems in the county, safety, and former Limestone Sheriff Mike Blakely.

“Limestone county was the safest county in the state for several years and I am going to ensure we stay the safest county in Alabama,” said Sloss.

The county’s current appointed Sheriff, Joshua McLaughlin, weighed in on staffing.

“We desperately need more officers on the road, patrolling the areas. In my personal opinion, we need specialized units in our investigative unit to focus on special victims crime,” said McLaughlin.

Attendees expressed concerns about drug use in the county, especially Fentanyl. Jeff Kilpatrick says it’s the main source of crime right now.

“This county is eat up with thefts. This whole county is infested with drugs, everything. Fentanyl, you name it. It is a direct result of why we need more officers,” said Kilpatrick.

Candidate, Chris Carter pointed to getting the budget under control.

“This department has roughly 140 employees and a 10 million dollar budget. That is 60 percent of the entire county budget. There is no plan to get rid of anybody or a massive reorganization. If you do your job, you’ll have a job,” said Carter.

And the obvious topic, the former Sheriff Mike Blakely...

“One of these differences of opinion between me and these gentlemen here is they won’t really call out what was going on at the sheriff’s department. I’ll call it out. There was corruption, nepotism, and bias,” said Redd.

McLaughlin will hold the title of Sheriff until January 2023 if he is not elected. There are no democrats in the race. The Primary Election is coming up on May 24th, 2022.

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