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Opinion Politics

Opinion: Harrison County sheriff race is choice of conscience

Louis Elias (left) and Matt Haley (right) are both vying to be the next sheriff in Harrison County

Tuesday’s primary elections are not only important for statewide races but also for local races, and that rings especially true in Harrison County.

Highlighting this year’s ballot will be the two men who want to lead the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office – Matt Haley and Louis Elias. Both are Republicans and with no Democrats seeking the position, the winner between the two will automatically secure the position of sheriff.

So, who should you vote for? Well, that’s a tough question, and this column probably won’t give you that answer. But it will show you how you can personally go out and get that answer.

First and foremost, let’s take a closer look at the resumés of Haley and Elias. Both are around the same age, are self-proclaimed family men, and have extensive careers in law enforcement.

Haley has worked over 25 years for the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, serving in virtually every position exempting the top spot. The Saucier native has solid knowledge of every department, specifically corrections, transportation, narcotics, and investigations.

Even though Haley does have managerial experience as the administrative captain, he is more of a boots-on-the-ground candidate. His priorities, if elected, would revolve around making sure the department is financially sound through its purchasing, grant management, budgeting, policy development, and training.

Elias, on the other hand, has grown experience from training, where the lifelong Harrison County resident began his career in law enforcement in the early 1990s before building his way up to director of the Harrison County Law Enforcement Training Academy.

Serving in a variety of positions – including investigator, patrol officer, K-9 handler, and shift supervisor – Elias has worked in both county and state capacities. His priorities, if elected, would be school security, jail improvements, and recruiting.

Despite the rhetorical stigma thrown at both throughout the election season, Haley and Elias are both honorable men. I’m fortunate enough to know each. However, at the end of the day, the voters have to make the decision on which one they want to elect. And as some would say, an uneducated vote is worse than no vote at all.

If you want to educate yourself going into the primary elections, both candidates for Harrison County sheriff have participated in multiple debates, including ours at The Gazebo Gazette. Both Haley and Elias also have campaign websites worth checking out.

The polls for Tuesday’s primary elections will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can find your polling location here.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of SuperTalk Mississippi Media.

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