Voters go to the polls on Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 4, 2006

In the race for Butler County Sheriff, Republican candidate Clint Reaves said he feels his campaign has gone well and it is time for a change in Butler County.

Reaves said his main goal if elected sheriff is to rid the county of drugs, something he said has not been done in the past.

&#8220Too many people turn their heads in this county and I will not tolerate that,” Reaves said. &#8220Anyone caught with drugs or selling drugs will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Reaves said the previous administrations, including Harden, have not been tough enough on the drug problem and now it is out of hand.

&#8220Drugs are running wild in Butler County because nothing was ever done about it,” Reaves said. &#8220Too many people have walked away free and that just boils down to poor investigation skills.”

&#8220I will change that if I am elected sheriff of Butler County,” he said.

Reaves also said it is his objective to start a senior citizen's check program, to ensure the safety of Butler County's older citizens, and to start a drug and gang task force.

&#8220There will be a zero tolerance for drugs in Butler County,” Reaves said.

Reaves' opponent, Democratic candidate Kenny Harden, said he got into this race because he cares about the county and because he has the record and background to prove it.

&#8220I care about Butler County, I've got family here, I'm raising my kids here and the people as a whole are reasons why I got into this race,” Harden said. &#8220I feel like the citizens of Butler County need the best Sheriff's Department that can be.”

Harden agreed with Reaves about the county's serious drug problem, but added he actually has a record to prove he has done something about it.

&#8220Since I left in 2002, there has been very little drug work done in Butler County,” Harden said. &#8220I've run this campaign strictly on my record and what I've done and my record speaks for itself.”

&#8220I have a record I can run on,” he added.

Harden said he would also like to establish a South Butler County substation, along with adding more deputies, but all that with be contingent upon the funds available, something Harden said he will have to work with the County Commission on.

&#8220I feel like there ought to be a sheriff for the people,” Harden said. &#8220I think when the people go to the polls, they will choose to move the county forward.”

Butler County Probate Judge Steve Norman, who is facing Republican opponent Johnny Lee in next week's primary, says he is looking forward to the election's arrival - and its departure.

&#8220Even when you are not on the ballot, it feels good to get the election process out of the way,” Norman said.

&#8220Getting everything counted, certified and done is always a big, big relief.”

As for his outlook on the probate judge's race, Norman said he &#8220feels really good about everything.”

&#8220The voters were mighty kind to me back in June and I hope that will be the case again next Tuesday. I am proud of the fact my opponent and I ran a friendly, clean campaign, too.”

Norman said elections were a &#8220pretty big undertaking” for even a largely rural county like Butler.

&#8220The good thing is we've been blessed in Butler County. As far as I recall, there have never been any allegations of impropriety in our elections here. We have good people who get out and vote.”

Norman's opponent, Republican candidate Johnny Lee, says he is &#8220optimistic” about his chances in the election.

&#8220I think I have done well for someone who didn't have a lot of name recognition, particularly in the northern part of the county,” Lee said.

&#8220I would say I have probably been to nearly 75 percent of the homes in Butler County. I have gotten a great reception.”

The Republican candidate, who said he would like to see a stronger, more viable two-party system in the county, said politics had never been of major interest to him in the past.

&#8220I am definitely not a career politician. I am someone, however, who hasn't liked some of the things I have seen in county government in recent years,” Lee said.

&#8220I really want to see some positive changes in our county, and I'm willing to work hard to bring about these changes for the good of everyone in Butler County.”

Lee said, win or lose, he will be a happy man come Wednesday morning.

&#8220I'm an active retiree with enough projects to keep me busy. But if I am elected, I promise I will be there to serve the people whenever they need me.”