VERNON, Ala. (WCBI) — With the runoff to become Lamar County’s next sheriff just a few days away, candidates Marty Gottwald and Hall Allred are reaching out to voters. Gottwald’s currently Lamar County’s Coroner with more than 20 years of law enforcement experience, locally and with the U.S. Air Force. His goal: maintaining the county’s budget.
“The jail and the sheriff’s department itself is the most costly function we have in county government so we’ve go to work really smart and stay within our guidelines with it,” said Gottwald.
Gottwald also wants to initiate a GED program in the county jail, helping those with a bad past turn their life around.
“The residivism rate for meth is extremely high so part of the program, what I would like to see within the confines of the jail again is a kind of drug rehab, mental health counseling the different things we need to do to break the chain of addiction,” said Gottwald.
Hal Allred is a sheriff’s deputy and Lamar County native.
“I’ve got 18 years experience with being a deputy. You got to know the people, you got to know the laws, you got to know the whole system and you’ve go tot have experience to do that,” said Allred.
Allred’s goal as sheriff: keeping residents informed. If Allred wins he plans on conducting community meetings and increasing the monitoring of sex offenders.
” We’ve got anywhere between 50 and 60 sex offenders in Lamar County, I want to make sure they are where they’re suppose to be and if they’re not, the I know where they’re going to be,” said Allred.
At Max’s fried chicken in Vernon voters say they know each man will give it their all.
“I thought the race was run extremely well. I think any of the candidates that are involved in the current race would do a good job with the county,” said Vernon resident Wayne Barnes.
” Our previous sheriff has accomplished a lot and I just hope there’ll be as good a sheriff as Terry has been,” said Watana Cantrell.
No matter who wins, one thing both Gottwald and Allred hope for is a huge turnout Tuesday.
“I really do have a vested interest in staying committed to the county and wanting to keep this in what I consider a great place to live,” said Gottwald.
“Everybody wants what’s best for their kids but I’m in a unique position where I can do something about it,” said Allred.
Sheriff Terry Perkins term expires in January. The runoff election is Tuesday. The polls are open from 7am until 7pm.