The bid for Randolph County sheriff is one of the few contested local races this election. It also is one voters should actively investigate so they can make an informed decision at the polls.
Incumbent Democrat Sheriff Jack Roy is out this campaign, after running unopposed in 2008. Squaring off for the position are Democratic challenger Mark T. Brady and Republican Bruce K. Howell.
Brady, currently chief deputy with the sheriff's department, was part of a four-candidate field in the primary. He won with a commanding lead, garnering 2,257 votes versus the 1,171 the next closest candidate received.
Howell was unopposed in the primary; yet, he only received 862 votes.
Party voters showed their confidence in Brady in the primary. He has our confidence going into the general election. Brady has served for more than 20 years as a law enforcement officer in Randolph County. During that time he has held a variety of roles, including correction officer, city police chief, chief criminal investigator and deputy sheriff as well as his current position.
The position of sheriff is a vital one in the community, and we believe Brady is experienced and up to the task. He's a West Virginia-certified law enforcement officer, who graduated in the top three of his class from the West Virginia State Police Academy and West Virginia Corrections Academy.
In addition to his strong academic standing, Brady has distinguished himself in our community. To cite his candidacy bio, "Brady has traveled with the Officer Phil Program into elementary schools in the county to provide education to the children on morals, drug abuse, bullying, stranger danger, Internet safety and gun safety. He has worked with students from Tygarts Valley High School and Elkins High School on their senior projects about drug and alcohol use.
"He also has encouraged and recruited many students into criminal justice fields and to have a positive outlook on life. Brady has spoken to many of the community outreach programs to advise the elderly on how to protect themselves against scams and the abuse of drugs."
He's done that and much more, including waging a war on drugs in our county. He has performed well in the lead role of chief deputy. His election to sheriff makes sense not only to propel the department forward, but also with regard to maintaining the highest levels of public safety.
Brady has earned the endorsement of the West Virginia Sheriff's Association and the West Virginia Deputy Sheriff's Association. We join with these organizations in lending our endorsement to his candidacy, and we encourage voters - regardless of party affiliation - to do so as well on Nov. 6.