Bay County's Top Cop

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

Frank McKeithen became the incumbent when he was hand-picked in October to take over as sheriff in Bay County when Guy Tunnel was selected to run the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

McKeithen had been the sheriff in Gulf County for the past eight years and in law enforcement since he was 21 years old.

"The commitment I made to the people was that I was going to fight crime. I was going to make people safe and secure in their homes. I was going to make their families safe and their property safe and I feel like we have done that."

Mike Jones has been in law enforcement in Bay County for 20 years, but more recently served two terms as a Bay County school board member.

Jones was also the first certified DARE officer in Bay County and then helped implement the program into the elementary schools. He says he wants to see the program in middle and high schools next.

Jones is also well-known for his service to the community as salvage Santa, children who might never have a bike.

"My opponent uses, he's tough on crime, I'm going to be smart about crime. I'm going to educate our community to solve crimes, to rid our community of drugs and I just want people to remember I was a law enforcement officer and I'm smart about crime."

David Slusser recently retired after 11 years as chief of police from the Panama City Police Department. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Criminology, a Masters from Florida State and the University of Virginia, and is a graduate of the FBI's National Academy.

"If people are ready for politics to get out of the sheriff's office, again, I think I would be their choice and their candidate because I am not a politician."

Registered Republican voters will decide the race between McKeithen and Jones during the primary. The winner will run against Slusser in November.

Experience is something each bring to the ticket, but each say how they used their experience will separate each one at the polls.


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