Gadsden County's New Sheriff Says He's Making Progress

Twenty-eight new sheriffs have taken office since November's elections, most new to the position.

Gadsden County not only elected its first a new sheriff in over 30 years, it also elected its first African-American sheriff and only the second in Florida history.

In 2000 Morris Young decided to run for sheriff of Gadsden County. He lost that race to Sheriff W.A. Woodham, who had been holding the office since 1971.

"We wanted a sheriff that's gonna be for the community as a whole and that's the way I look at it. I don't see color."

In 2004 with Woodham retiring, Young would run again and this time he would win by 115 votes becoming the county's first African-American sheriff. Unfortunately, the election brought out the racial division in Gadsden County.

"This has been a divided community, black versus white.

Sheriff Young not only has plans to change his community, but hopes that his example will be followed statewide.

"Hopefully this will send a message throughout the state of Florida and hopefully it will encourage other black law enforcement officers to run for sheriff."

In last fall's election Morris Young was able to raise $15,000 for his campaign. His opponent and former chief deputy at the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office, Ed Spooner, raised $90,000.

By the way, Morris is the second black Sheriff in Florida. Nate Glover was the first African-American sheriff in Florida history, serving two terms in Duval County.


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