Incumbent Jefferson County Sheriff Gerald Robinson is being challenged by retired Arkansas State Police Investigator Roger McLemore in the May 20 Democratic primary.
Robinson was first elected to the position in 2005, replacing former sheriff Boe Fontaine and has been re-elected three times since then.
In announcing his candidacy, Robinson said “I have spent the last 26 years of my life enforcing laws and commanding various divisions of the sheriff’ office.
“We will continue to protect and serve with integrity and professionalism,” he said.
In his announcement, Robinson noted that his office has generated more than a million dollars in annual revenue for the county, and said he is proud of the fact that he was instrumental in the drive to construct the new District Court building and in the construction of the new sheriff’s department building.
“Not only that, we have more presence in the county now because we have increased our patrols, especially in rural areas,” Robinson said. “I promise Jefferson County residents that we would vigorously fight crime; make it very uncomfortable for criminals, to ensure that Jefferson County is a safe place to live for all.”
McLemore is making his second bid for the office. He ran unsuccessfully as an independent in 2012.
A resident of Jefferson County for 33 years, McLemore joined the Arkansas State Police on Jan. 2, 1975 and retired May 31, 2010 after 37 years, five months of service.
During his career, he worked as a highway patrol trooper before being reassigned to the Criminal Investigation Division where he spent 16 years investigating crimes such as murder, rape, theft and others.
He received specialized training in criminal investigation, supervision, advanced courses on interviewing, fingerprinting, homicide investigation and was a Certified Clandestine Laboratory Officer.
If elected, McLemore said he would create programs for youth, increase patrols in the county, offer educational programs for officers and civilians, help farmers maintain their property, improve the hot check process, and re-establish the Rescue, Mounted Patrol and Boat Divisions of the sheriff’s department.
The winner of the primary will face James Murry, who has announced he will run as an independent in November.