Davis withdraws candidacy for sheriff

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Republican candidate for sheriff, John Davis, has withdrawn from the race.

Davis sent notice of his withdrawal Tuesday afternoon via e-mail.

“I have always considered Covington County my hometown,” Davis said in his written statement. “I decided to seek the office of sheriff because I believe the citizens deserve the very best protection and services from the sheriff’s office. It was my pledge to return the office of sheriff back to the people.

“I take pride in Covington County and only wanted change (that) was best for ‘all the people,’ not just some,” he said. “That is why I was running for sheriff, because I wanted to be part of that change, to make Covington County a better place to live.

Davis said that one of the largest problems he saw in the county was the community disconnecting with law enforcement.

“The public is disgruntled because the perception is that, ‘Nobody cares,’” he wrote. “I believe this is caused in large part to massive turnover. The sheriff’s office loses excellent employees constantly to agencies all over due to the lack of competitive salaries and compensation. When employees leave (en) mass(e), it makes community relations impossible. There is no continuity or consistency, and no time to build relationships in the communities.

“Now after months of campaigning, I realize a large amount of people…don’t want that change,” he said.

In closing, Davis thanked his supporters.

In a telephone interview, Davis cited “personal reasons” as the reason for his decision.

“My family and I are moving back to Maryland for personal reasons,” he said. “My last day as the Lockhart chief of police is Oct. 29. My first day at my new job in Maryland is Nov. 1. It is the right thing to do to step down.”

Davis had served in the chief position for the last year and a half. It is unknown who will fill that position.

William Blocker, local Republican Party chairman, said, “The party appreciates (Davis’) willingness to run, at least for the time he did. Having opposition makes a sitting office holder more accountable. It’s a natural part of democratic process. I think (the incumbent sheriff) Dennis (Meeks) has done a great job as sheriff, and we congratulate him on his winning another four years of service as our sheriff.”

Covington County Probate Judge Ben Bowden said Davis has not filed withdrawal paperwork with his office.

“However, (Davis) has made it publicly known he does not want to continue,” he said. “The ballots are printed, so his name will be on the ballot Nov. 2.”

To read Davis’ withdrawal notification, click here.

John Davis