With reference to Debbie Daniels' letter to the editor which appeared in the June 23 News-Times ("Challenger's many qualities make him 'only choice for sheriff'") I would like to set the record straight on some issues.
Daniels describes Blanchard as a person of integrity with respect for the law. Is this the same Lewis Blanchard who has been scalping Masters tickets for years even when it was against the law to do so?
Daniels also mistakenly described Blanchard as having organized and managed the Columbia County school security force. The fact is Blanchard was a force of one, and there is no documentation anywhere to support his claim to the contrary.
Blanchard's business sense is not in question; however, the nature of his business endeavors are very questionable. Blanchard was the owner of two cocktail lounges in Augusta, "Somewhere in Augusta" and "Last Call." What makes Daniels think that Blanchard can go from purchasing beer and liquor by the case to running a professional complex organization like the Columbia County Sheriff's Office?
The most disturbing thing about Blanchard is his absolute lack of any real law enforcement experience or leadership. This stands in stark contrast to Sheriff Clay Whittle's more than 25 years in law enforcement experience, with 18 of those years at the executive level.
Finally, to the citizens of Columbia County, let me remind you we are voting for the sheriff of this county, and that person must be an experienced and proven law enforcement practitioner.
Let's keep the man who brought the Sheriff's Office into the 21st century, and achieved not only national accreditation, but also recognition as one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the country. Re-elect Clay Whittle Sheriff of Columbia County on July 20.
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