Jones County sheriff now has challenger

Jones County sheriff now has challenger

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Nearly two months in and current Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge appeared to have no challenger for the August primary election, but just an hour before the qualifying deadline passed, Sylvester Busby filed to run as Jones County sheriff.

"It's going to be a tough race," said Busby. "It's nothing negative against Alex and I consider Alex to be a friend of mine, but running for sheriff is something that I've wanted to do for several years and I want to run for the people of Jones County."

Busby said he is running as an independent candidate.

"Going as an independent that gives me a spot on the November ballot regardless," said Busby. "I want to be your sheriff regardless of your political ties or affiliations. I want to be the sheriff for everybody and so running as an independent that gives you the option to vote for me."

Busby retired last year from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks and says his 25 years as a Jones County conservation officer gives him the experience necessary to take on the sheriff position.

"Over those 25 years I've worked close to the sheriff's department, highway patrol, the constables, city police, I also work for the Sandersville Police Department to keep my certification active," said Busby.  

He said if elected sheriff, he will focus on getting the drugs and gangs out of the county.

"If you seize $100,000 that tells me there's $200,000 of drugs on the streets that our kids and citizens are subject to getting and I would rather get the drugs off the streets than have the money after the drugs been sold," said Busby.

Forming a budgeting committee and implementing an advisory committee is also something Busby said he plans to do if elected.

"The more eyes and ears you have looking and listening, the more efficient you'll be able to do your job," said Busby. "I'll work to try to reduce the budget and work within the budget to save the taxpayers' dollars. I would like to form a budgeting committee comprised of local folks that work strictly with budgets to sit down and go over the budgets with me to find the places that excessive spending is being done and that we can eliminate and use that money maybe to increase the salaries of our law enforcement people that way we'll have less turnovers and have quality people doing the job."

Busby has until November to campaign and said he's looking forward to it.

"It's not going to be an easy campaign but I think the people will say they know who I am and what I'm about and what I have to offer," said Busby. "I think it'll be a close race. "