COTTON COUNTY, OK (KSWO) -Next week, Cotton County voters will also be choosing whether they want a new sheriff.
Democrat Kent Simpson, is the current Sheriff and he will be running against Republican Tim King. Both candidates have 20 plus years of experience in law enforcement. Tim King began his career as a Deputy in Jefferson County then came to Cotton County in 1995 and served many roles such as K9 handler, Sergeant and Under Sheriff. Simpson has been titled as Sheriff for the last four years, and a reserve deputy for many years in Cotton County. On the side he is also a welder and a preacher.
Both candidates have a list of things they want to accomplish if they're elected, but the one thing they could agree on, is their passion for the county and wanting what's best for its people.
Democrat Kent Simpson has been serving Cotton County since 1986. He's hoping with four years of the title as Sheriff under his belt that he can continue that role and make improvements in programs he's looking to add.
"The SALT, seniors and law enforcement together, we're working on that really hard," said Simpson."Talking about scams that are coming up everyday it seems like, we get calls about scams to our senior citizens. And we're working really hard on a test my teen grant. We got a grant and it allows us to have teens tested by the parents with no cost to the parent. They have a little bit of shipping, but that is it and it's going to be a good program."
Republican Tim King says the one thing he can agree on with Simpson is that they both want to add a K9 unit to the department and also bring back the drug awareness program, D.A.R.E in schools. However, King has been retired for four years, but he's ready to come back and make a change. He promises education and being involved in the community are at the top of his priorities, and have an open door policy. He believes this and being available 24-7, will help lower crime rates.
"I think if you get rid of the the drug use and the drug dealing and stuff like that, most of your crimes follow with it, your burglaries and stuff like that," said King."You got very few addicts that have time jobs supporting their habits. They will go around, steal your property and I think if you care of narcotics, you will take care of business."
Simpson says with his family rooted here in Cotton County, he will bring passion and put what's best for the community, first.
"I think mainly it's because I've been here all my life," said Simpson."Also, I bring a lot of business to the table. I know how to do the business part of it. I've been to school for the law part of it, but there's a lot more business for a Sheriff than there is law."
King says law enforcement is in his blood because he grew up shadowing and learning from family members serving their community. He says through hard work and dedication, he's ready to step in and add Sheriff to his resume.
"I started when I was 24 years old, I'm fixing to be 50," said King."The training that I went through, I've got 1,400 hours of CLEET credit. I want to be full-time Sheriff. I want this to be my only job."
King says if elected, he will make sure the department becomes more pro-active and people see the units out patrolling to stop crime.
Simpson says if he's re-elected, he will keep doing a lot of the things he's been doing along with re-organization within the department.