Grayson Co. Sheriff's candidates take on runoff debate

By: Victoria Maranan Email
By: Victoria Maranan Email

DENISON, TX-The candidates for Grayson County Sheriff took the stage for a debate Thursday night to answer your questions with just over a month left til the runoff election.
The candidates hit on topics ranging from their health to their careers and plans for the county. Many of those questions were submitted by audience members before the debate.
Grayson County Sheriff's candidates, incumbent J. Keith Gary and Commissioner Johnny Waldrip, answered over a dozen questions Thursday night at Grayson College. The debate got heated when they were asked questions about an incident several months ago, when a Grayson County Sheriff's Deputy was caught with about 200 weapons from the evidence locker.

"It's a very serious issue. We've had 200 guns that we know of, we're not sure if there's more that were taken from the most secure room in the Sheriff's office over a period of time. They were all asleep at the wheel. The question is, how does that happen?" Said Waldrip.

"I'm not happy that it happened, but you know, things do happen. I mean, there are thefts and crimes committed all the time by people you wouldn't expect," said Gary.

He said the incident is still under investigation and that he assured the audience it won't happen again.

"We've taken some steps, we now have rearranged the locks on the doors. You can't possibly can't get in by yourself, there has to be two individuals going into the evidence room at all times now," Gary said.

Several questions were also asked about both candidates' health.

"I am doing fine. The doctor told me and he said 'look, you have a complete clean bill of health from me. Go back and do what you want to do.' And what I wanted to do is to be sheriff of the county," said Gary.

"You know, I'm 60 years old and he's getting close to 80 years old and it becomes and issue. People say how old, how are you and so forth. I had a pacemaker put in and probably 3-4 people in the room have pacemakers," said Waldrip.

Voters also asked what Sheriff Gary's staff could expect if Waldrip takes office.

"The old scare tactics that they put out that everyone's gonna get fired, it doesn't happen. In 1997, when Keith Gary got elected sheriff, he replaced 6 people and I anticipate probably when I go into office, it will probably be close to the same amount," said Waldrip.

Grayson County Precinct 3 Commissioner, Jackie Crisp and his opponent, Phyllis James took the podium after the sheriff's debate.

The runoff election is July 31st.


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