Smith wins re-election as sheriff
Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said he was “blown away” by the votes cast Tuesday that will keep him in the office for another four years.
Smith defeated Republican candidate Heath Jackson for the seat with 6531 votes to Jackson 4209.
“I couldn’t be more blown away and pleased,” Smith said. “My friends have shown they trust me and expect me to get busy doing my job. I won’t let them down.”
Smith said the race wasn’t won by himself but by others that helped him obtain the win.
“I always liked what Lucy Baxley said,” Smith said. “Politicians are like turtles on a post. Somebody had to put them there.”
Jackson said the loss is one he hopes he won’t have to face in four years.
“I appreciate everyone who has supported me and helped keep this race clean,” Jackson said. “I hope everyone is behind me again in 2014 because we’ll do it again. There still needs to be change. I need everyone to be ready for 2014 because we start campaigning tomorrow.”
Smith said he has plans for the next four years beginning Wednesday morning.
“Starting at 7 a.m. I plan to take down every sign of mine that I can get my hands on,” Smith said Tuesday night. “I also plan to keep the promise I made the first time I ran for this office. If you need me, I’ll be there for you.”
Smith said the next four years will also give him an opportunity to implement programs he wants to see in the Sheriff’s Department.
“I promise that I will do everything in my power to bring a work program that includes an in-house drug rehab to the Escambia County Jail that the inmates will benefit from. I think it’s only fair to the taxpayers of this county that inmates help contribute to their housing costs.”
Jackson said the campaign has already brought about some changes that he hoped to see in the Department.
“Sheriff Smith has put resource officers in the schools since this election started,” Jackson said. “Numerous arrests have been printed in the paper in the last two months. We just hope when the election season is over we can continue to receive these services.”
Jackson said Smith’s win was a win for the people of the county. “I feel like this community won as much as Sheriff Smith did,” Jackson said. “The three month campaign brought about much needed change.”
Smith was humbled by the win and said the people of the county are responsible for his return to the office.
“How can you say thank you to people that took time out of their busy day to vote for me other than to say thank you,” Smith said. “It means a lot to me for that to happen.”