In reference to who should be our Columbia County sheriff, he already is.
Our sheriff should be someone who knows the law and has been practicing it for years now, who knows our deputies and is on a first-name basis with them. He should be a man who is very down-to-earth, a great family man who would literally give you the shirt off his back, someone who truly cares about the people of Columbia County. No one could better describe Clay Whittle.
I am not going to say Lewis Blanchard should not be running for something, only that he should not be running for sheriff. Blanchard comes across a little power-hungry, one who just can't wait to flaunt that he is the sheriff, like a little kid who wanted to be hall monitor. Whittle cares a great deal about his deputies regardless of what some ex-deputies say. Not everyone is capable of being a deputy. It takes good, honest people who are dedicated to keeping the peace among citizens and protecting them. Whittle has done an excellent job in requiring this of his entire staff.
Blanchard is at the wrong job interview. He does not belong in the sheriff's office. If he wanted to run for some other office -- county commissioner or school board -- I would not be so critical of him.
Also these rumors circulating of people saying he is using his so-called "famous last name," from what I have seen and heard, he is the only one talking about it. It means more to him than anyone else. I have to give him credit for subliminal message techniques. My family has been in Columbia County for several generations, and I suppose if I wanted to run for office and was not as qualified as my opponent, I would probably try that approach.
Blanchard, being the businessman he is, should stick to opening up his bars and dance halls in Richmond County and concentrate on keeping the underage kids out of them. You would think he had enough on his plate, but he wants to come to Columbia County and play Barney Fife. If Blanchard wants to run for something else, he should go ahead -- he has his name out there. He would possibly even have my vote.
But leave the police work to a lawman, our sheriff -- Clay Whittle.
Jana T. Williams
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