Sheriff hopefuls weather delay, ready for July 14

Posted 6/16/20

Following a nearly two-month postponement, Madison County Sheriff hopefuls Bobby Adams and Billy J. Reeves are set for election day July 14 with early voting coming June 29-July 2 and July 6-10.

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Sheriff hopefuls weather delay, ready for July 14


Following a nearly two-month postponement, Madison County Sheriff hopefuls Bobby Adams and Billy J. Reeves are set for election day July 14 with early voting coming June 29-July 2 and July 6-10.

The original runoff race was scheduled to take place May 26 after Adams and Reeves topped challengers Les Neeley and Jon Stubblefield in the March 3 Republican Primary. Adams earned 38.55% of the vote while Reeves garnered 28.14%.

Both candidates acknowledged the fact that citizens are living in a different world than they were in early March and discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic might impact July’s runoff.

“People are scared,” said Adams. “I think (the older generation) should be cautious but I do not think they should be any more cautious than they would for, say, the flu. The flu kills a lot of people every year, too.”

Adams believes the biggest impact of the virus could be lower voter turnouts, while Reeves sees voter turnout dropping for another reason.

“I think there will be less people showing up this time since it is only going to be Bobby and I on the ballot,” said Reeves. “I don’t know if (COVID-19) will have anything to do with it or not. It may keep some people from going.”

Aside from voter turnout, the limitations surrounding public appearances has also played a significant role in the campaigns.

“It has affected everything,” said Adams. “I wanted to do some meet and greets, but there is a limit of how many people could attend with limited occupancy in buildings and restaurants.”

“Overall, I think it had an effect on everybody,” said Reeves. “I know there are a lot of people that do not want to get out there and a lot of people with pre-existing medical conditions that probably should not.”

On top of COVID-19, the nation has undergone a rejuvenated discussion regarding race and law enforcement following the killing of an African American man named George Floyd in the custody of police officers in Minnesota May 25.

“That was excessive force,” said Adams on Derek Chauvin’s actions, the officer charged with killing Floyd. “Once you have a person in custody, there should be no more force used. Get that person up on their feet, into a patrol car and out of there. As far as protests go, that is your constitutional right.

“You do not have a constitutional right to break the law. Anything other than a protest is breaking the law and that is not going to work.”

Reeves joined Adams in condemning the actions of the Minneapolis police officers involved and supporting the right to protest. He also condemned the actions of some who have taken to looting and violence in the midst of the chaos.

“(Rioters and looters) are destroying what our forefathers built and framed for us to enjoy in this country,” said Reeves. “We just need to remain mindful of who we are, the values the people in this country hold and avoid allowing any of that kind of stuff from moving into where we raise our children.”

Neither candidate saw a need for drastic fundamental changes regarding the law enforcement profession.

“Bad cops are bad cops,” said Adams. “There is bad in everything. I do not see why you should punish everyone for what a few bad cops have done.”

“(Use of force) is something police have to do sometimes,” said Reeves. “They have to make the best choice they can with the information they have. When they do it right, they need to be supported by their superiors and when they do wrong, they need to be held accountable.”

While both candidates believe the country has changed drastically due to the virus and Floyd’s death, Adams believes the issues that concern the people of Madison County remain the same.

“(The issues) are no different than what they were (in March), as far as I am concerned,” said Adams. “The law of the land is the law of the land and we are going to abide by those laws. But we are also going to abide by them equally. Your race, nationality, sexual orientation or the amount of money you have or do not have should not play a factor in anything.”

Some of the main issues discussed throughout the campaign were county pay raises and county growth. Adams has been open throughout the campaign in highlighting the county’s drug problem and its relation to growth.

Both men expressed a desire to implement a narcotics task force to help crack down on the looming issues.

For a more specific look at the candidates’ broad views regarding the election, view a report in the March 11 edition of the Madisonville Meteor titled ‘Sheriff’s race comes down to a May 26 runoff’.

Both candidates can also be found on Facebook, where a more descriptive background of their career experiences is outlined.

Early voting in Madison County will last from June 29-July 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again from July 6-10 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Madison County Courthouse.

Election day is slated for July 14 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Citizens can vote at the Madison County Courthouse, Midway Community Center or North Zulch Independent School District.