FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Charlie Sims will be the first new sheriff of Forrest County in more than 20 years.
Forrest County voters elected Sims, a Republican, as the county’s next sheriff during Tuesday’s general election. According to unofficial results, Sims defeated Independent candidates Jerry Oswalt and Kenny Johnson by capturing 67% of the vote. The unofficial results do not include affidavit or absentee ballots.
Sims won the Republican nomination over David Basset in a close primary runoff in August. Bassett went on to voice his support for Sims going into the general election, saying the two shared common goals for serving the county.
Sims, a University of Southern Mississippi graduate, has nearly 40 years of law enforcement experience in the Pine Belt.
Sims joined the Hattiesburg Police Department in 1981 and would eventually become chief, a position he retired from in 2001. He most recently served as the Assistant Director of Public Safety at Forrest General Hospital.
In previous interviews with WDAM, Sims said he has the knowledge and experience necessary to run a large department like the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office. He said he will focus on fighting drugs in the county and building a culture of respect within his department.
Sims will be sworn in as sheriff in January. Longtime sheriff Billy McGee did not run for reelection in 2019.