Candidates square off in Quitman County Sheriff runoff -, GA News Weather & Sports

Candidates square off in Quitman County Sheriff runoff


First it was four; now, it's down to two candidates in the race for Quitman Country Sheriff.

The incumbent Sheriff Steve Newton is squaring off against Challenger Bill Joe Foster who received the most votes in the July Primaries, beating Newton by almost 30 votes.

Newton, who has been Sheriff in Quitman County for three and half years, says he isn't giving up his seat without a fair fight. When the Sheriff first moved to Quitman County from the Atlanta area he says he decided to become Sheriff because the community was riddled with crime and was in shambles.

"After I saw how the people were in fear just go and pick up a quart of milk at the local store, you know, I said I can do something about that," Newton said. "I think my background would help me with that." 

That background consists of a law enforcement career that spans nearly three decades, including a stint in the Marines. Newton says he was a bit surprised about the runoff election, and says his experience at commitment to keeping the streets safe is what sets him apart from his opponent.

"I pretty much established that I am a law enforcement man," Sheriff Newton said. "I believe in equally enforcing the law across all levels and not letting people go because they are a friend or high-ranking person in the county. I do not have the support of the local criminal enterprise, now to the contrary my opponent does, that is who is backing him, they are backing him strongly."  

However, Newton's Bill Joe Foster says those allegations are not true and that his supporters are the majority of the concerned citizens who came out and voted for him during the primary election.

The veteran who served in several law enforcement positions with the Department of Natural Resources says there is no doubt he is the man for the job.

"In my law enforcement experience and hearing what the people say what's going on here in Quitman county they want a change and my 26 years in law enforcement gives me that change to bring to the people of Georgetown," Foster said.

Foster, who has lived in the county for the past 12 years, says he knows what the people in the community want and has a different approach than the current sheriff.

"What I can do different is I can work with my county commission in having a balanced budget I can listen to the people and follow up on their complaints, I can enforce the law fairly and equally," Foster said.

Both Sheriff candidates will go head-to-head in a town hall debate at the County Courthouse on Monday in Georgetown, Ga. They will then face each other on Tuesday, August 21 in the runoff election

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