Forrest County Sheriff candidates speak at forum

Forrest County Sheriff candidates speak at forum

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Candidates running for Forrest County Sheriff met voters in person Tuesday night at an election forum at the University of Southern Mississippi to speak about their plans to improve law enforcement in the sheriff’s department.

Four of the five candidates running for Forrest County Sheriff took part in the forum. Republican hopefuls Charlie Sims, Nick Calico and David Bassett joined independent candidate Jerry Oswalt for the event.

Each candidate responded to questions from moderator Dr. Joe Weinberg about leadership style and how they would improve relations between the sheriff’s department and the public. Each candidate also spoke about how they would run their department.

“The basis of my plan is going to be accountability, manpower, communication and training. These are four key elements to the successful running of a department.”
Nick Calico
“I think we need to totally change the way we do business and go from a traditional way of leadership to transformational. This is what will take us to the future. I’m not looking in the past, I’m looking 10 years down the road.”
David Bassett
“I think the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department is in need of new leadership with a new perspective, somebody who can go in and objectively evaluate the operations of that department and who has the outside perspective needed to make those necessary changes.”
Charlie Sims
“There is change that needs to be made and I’m not in this race for a career, I’m in this race for a change and to bring good change. I’m a little older than these guys and I’ve seen a lot of things happen, I have a little wisdom.”
Jerry Oswalt

The event was sponsored by USM’s School of Social Science and Global Studies as well as the School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security.

Organizers of this forum hope voters gained a little wisdom from the event.

“This type of forum and others are an opportunity for the voting public really to see face to face what the differences between the candidates are and understand the different issues that are important to them when they’re going and voting,” said Dr. Edward Sayre, director of USM’s School of Social Sciences and Global Studies.

The primary is coming up on Aug. 6 and the general election is set for Nov. 5.

Longtime Sheriff Billy McGee is not seeking re-election.

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