New Sheriff in Town

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

Sheriff Mike Hammond's days are numbered as the top cop in Gulf County. Voters overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidate Dalton Upchurch to replace Hammond as sheriff.

"It feels good, it feels real good. You know, I'm surprised, you know, you never, you hope you win, but you're never sure 'till they finalize the election, so I feel really good."

Upchurch says it wasn't an easy battle running against a candidate who was easily outspending him. According to the Division of Elections, Hammond spent more than $38,000 for the campaign, while Upchurch only spent $7,000.

"We ran a grassroots campaign. We knew we were going to get outspent. We knew it, we didn't even attempt to keep up."

Hammond refused to comment on camera, but said it was a long race and the department will move on to ensure a smooth transition. He says he would have done the job for free and plans to stay in law enforcement, but will probably stay away from politics for now.

"I'm sure there are going to be a few that don't want to work for me because there's always those. Pretty much the same people are going to be here, they're just going to be reassigned in different positions."

Upchurch will take over in January. According to the Gulf County Elections Office, Upchurch received 60 percent of the vote.


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