2016 race for Walton County Sheriff begins in earnest

Rumors about Monroe Public Safety Director Chief Keith Glass getting into the race for Walton County Sheriff have been rife for months. This weekend, the rumors were confirmed with the official announcement by Glass.

Monroe Public Safety Director Chief Keith Glass
Monroe Public Safety Director Chief Keith Glass

“Since 2004, my friends and neighbors have asked me to consider running for sheriff of Walton County, but my answer has been no every election cycle,” Glass said in his announcement. “Over the last 18 months I have really spent a lot of time, a lot of thought and a lot of prayer, and after deep consideration and countless hours of toiling over the decision, I present myself, Keith Glass, as a candidate for Sheriff of Walton County.”

Sheriff Joe Chapman, who has been aware of the rumors for several months, said he would prefer to have some time to digest the announcement by Glass before commenting.

Incumbent Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman. Contributed photo
Incumbent Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman. Contributed photo

“But I am definitely running for reelection,” Chapman said, adding he would be making an official announcement in the coming days. However, he has already begun campaigning, sending out a mailer touting his successes during his three terms as Sheriff.

Chapman included in the mailer the fact that under his watch Walton County Sheriff’s Office has opened two new precincts – in Loganville and Walnut Grove, all on budget, solved and secured a conviction for the more than 20-year unsolved murder of Randy Peters, and drew attention to his strong support of the 2nd Amendment in offering firearms training, opening WCSO gun range to citizens and ensuring a speedy processing of fingerprints for carry permits.

In his announcement, Glass said he believes his leadership style makes him the best candidate for the position, saying he would be a uniter. He also touts his past military experience and years in law enforcement as qualifications for the position of Sheriff of Walton County. He has been employed by the city of Monroe since 1993, being appointed Chief of Police in 2002 and taking on the responsibility of the Monroe Fire Department as well in 2013. Glass served in the Army National Guard from 1974 to 2005.

Chapman too comes from a background in the military and law enforcement and also began his career in law enforcement with the Monroe Police Department in 1987. According to his bio, Chapman spent six years with the United States Marine Corps before being honorably discharged. He then served 16 years with the Army National Guard before retiring. He served as Camp Guard Commander, Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay Cuba in 2002.

Both the MPD and WCSO have have faced several legal issues during the time under Glass and Chapman respectively, the most recent for MPD being a civil suit against two former and at the time a current police officer for alleged malicious prosecution during their time at MPD. WCSO recently received an Ante Litem Notice asking for $450,000 in damages, also for alleged malicious prosecution and wrongful arrest. This stemmed from a drug case where a confidential informant was accused of planting the evidence for the arrest. In both the case against MPD as well as the one against WCSO, the charges against the claimants were dropped by the courts.

Both men serve on several boards and hold other appointments. Chapman serves on the Child Advocacy Board, Partnership for Children and Youth, DeKalb College Law Enforcement Advisory Board, North East Georgia Police Advisory Board, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s Public Safety Advisory Board and Congressman Rob Woodall’s U.S. Military Academy (West Point) Appointment Committee. He is a member of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association and currently serves on their Legislative Committee.

Glass is the past president of the Peace Officers Association of Georgia and current executive board member of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police. He was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2010 to the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council where he served on the Probable Cause Committee until being appointed to the Peace Officers Annuity and Benefit Fund Board as a commissioner by Deal in 2015.

Glass and his wife, Kathy, have three daughters, Kristin, Ashley and Courtney. Chapman and his wife, Tammy, have three sons, Jake, Josh and Jordan. His oldest two sons, Jake and Josh, followed in their father’s footsteps and joined the military, both serving tours of active duty in the Middle East.

Initial report

Monroe Director of Public Safety, Chief Keith Glass, has officially announced he will challenge Walton County Sheriff, Joe Chapman, for the office of Sheriff of Walton County as a Republican. Glass says he intends to qualify for the Republican Primary when the qualifying period begins on March 7th. Early voting begins May 2nd and the Primary will be held May 24th. Click this link for the full announcement by Glass.

6 Comments on 2016 race for Walton County Sheriff begins in earnest

  1. Joe Chapman is a fine sheriff for Walton Co and has done a fine job for all of us thank you sir for all the hated and honest work please rain as our sheriff and let Keith glass stay in the city of Monroe where he does a fine job there also

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