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Bradford wins in Newton sheriff's race; Ott defeats Lindsey in race for judge

Philip Bradford and his daughter Claire Bradford right after Bradford makes an aceptance speech at Square Perk where he waited and watched for the results with friends and family members.

Philip Bradford and his daughter Claire Bradford right after Bradford makes an aceptance speech at Square Perk where he waited and watched for the results with friends and family members.

COVINGTON -- Philip Bradford is one step closer to fulfilling his lifelong dream and becoming Newton County's next sheriff.

Republican Bradford was declared the victor in Tuesday's General Primary with 5,165 votes, or 55.26 percent, trumping 4,182 votes, or 44.74 percent, garnered by opponent Bill Watterson.

"I'm ecstatic. I'm so happy words can't describe how I feel," Bradford said as he celebrated with family and friends Tuesday evening. "I want to first say thank you to all my family, friends, my team, my supporters, everybody who got out and worked so hard for me. I want to thank everyone for their confidence in me to give me this chance to stand for Newton County and I pledge and promise to make them proud."

Watterson was gracious in defeat, saying, "It is disappointing. We want to say congratulations to Philip and we wish him the best in the future."

Bradford said he and Bill had spoken since the vote was tabulated.

"He has told me that he was going to give me 100 percent support in moving forward," Bradford said. "I want to thank Bill for running a good race and for pledging his support going forward."

Bradford will go on to face incumbent Sheriff Ezell Brown in November who is seeking reelection for a second term.

"I am ready to move forward to November and am looking forward to that," he said. "The race I've run this far, I'm going to continue that same platform of taking a stand in Newton County and that's what I pledge to do."

In declaring his platform Bradford has called for a "new culture" in the Sheriff's Office, pledging to bring the agency up to higher standards than it's seen before. In a previous Citizen interview he explained that because he works with Covington Police Department, which enjoys national accreditation and meets the standards dictated by the national Commission on Accreditation in Law Enforcement Agencies, he is accustomed to meeting those high standards.

"I came up in a culture totally different than the other two candidates came up in. It's that type of training and culture I want to bring to the Sheriff's Office," he said. "It's second nature to me."

He praised the men and women who work with the Sheriff's Office and said he is looking forward to working more closely with them.

"Those are good people who work for the Sheriff's Office and they know their job and they know what to do. I'm going to need those people to continue working just like that have been, but we may need to refocus on how we work," he said.

Bradford presently serves as a captain over the criminal investigation division with the Covington Police Department, where he has been employed since he graduated high school 26 years ago. At 18 he was a jailer with the CPD and when he turned 20 he became a patrol officer.

He has worked up through the ranks and in 1995 he was assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration's Task Force in Atlanta where it was soon discovered that he had knack for working drug cases. In 1998, he was back at CPD and he implemented the VIPER Unit, a street-level response unit to drug use and trafficking in the city. In 2005 he was named commander of the East Metro Drug Enforcement Team, a tri-county drug unit. Due to diminishing federal grants that kept EMDET going, the unit disbanded in 2007 and Bradford was named commander of the Special Investigations Unit, a combined effort of the CPD and the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

Bradford is married to Dalleen and they have three children. He is a deacon at Newton Baptist Church and works with the youth ministry. His parents are Newton County residents Herman and Maggie Bradford.

In the race for Superior Court judge, incumbent Superior Court Judge John Ott pulled out a victory over first-time contender and Covington attorney Stephanie R. Lindsey. Voters in both Walton and Newton counties gave the Alcovy Judicial Circuit Judge Ott the nod. In Walton County he received 66.10 percent of the vote, or 9,700 votes, and 55.68 percent on 8.731 votes in Newton. His opponent Lindsey received 33.85 percent of the vote in Walton, or 4,968 votes, and 44.28 percent, or 6,943 votes in Newton.

"I'm very humbled and happy with the victory." Ott said Tuesday night. "I commend my opponent Ms. Lindsey for running a real good race, and I'm just glad it turned out for me the way it did. I enjoyed the campaign getting out and seeing some old friends and making new friends."

Ott did comment, however, that he had not had an easy time campaigning.

"It's been a very challenging summer with a torn Achilles tendon and campaigning at the same time," he said.

Ott, 57, was elected district attorney for the Alcovy Judicial Circuit in 1985, remaining until he was appointed judge in 1990 to fill the unexpired term of retiring Judge Greely Ellis. He has retained his position of judge since that time and was appointed chief judge following the retirement of Chief Judge Marvin Sorrells in late 2004.

He has handled more than 40,000 cases since taking office in 1990 and more than 500 jury trials.

He is married to Lisa Linger and has a daughter and a stepson.

Comments

covingtoner 2 years, 1 month ago

I must say that I had supported Bill Waterson but honestly I am now throwing all my support to Philip Bradford now. In meeting him there is no question that he has the skills and knowledge to lead our sheriff's office. I am impressed further with his credentials. and in talking to people that work with him he is one of Covington's best officers. Good luck to Mr. Watterson in the future. Its time for for a change at the sheriff's office people, and that change must happen with Philip Bradford. Good luck and you have my vote as well as all my families. I will rally around your cause!

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proudmommy 2 years, 1 month ago

I am curious to know, how many votes did Ms.Lindsey lose because of the lawsuit at Alcovy? She had my vote and the votes of the majority of my family until that lawsuit was filed.

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Covingtonian 2 years, 1 month ago

So as to avoid any confusion with the above pseudonym ( covingtoner) Brown has my vote.

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MamaTurd 2 years, 1 month ago

Getting mixed up with the Carpenters ruined Lindsey but her ego is too grand to see it. 

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Conservative 2 years, 1 month ago

Bradford has my vote! I hope he has a good diet program for the department.

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Bemused 2 years, 1 month ago

The department is starving to death as it is. If it ain't broke - don't fix it! Brown is definitely getting my vote.

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Frustrated 2 years, 1 month ago

dont think Conservative was talking about the department but the people IN the department. I may be wrong but...just my opinion

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covingtoner 2 years, 1 month ago

I think you are correct Frustrated...I l ook at CPD and then look at NCSO and its a huge difference. I have no idea how some of them guys fit in their cars.

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guesswho83 2 years, 1 month ago

Bradford is horrible and I cannot support a man like this sorry!!!! So go right a head "Conservative" you sound a little off anyways...

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dennistay53 2 years, 1 month ago

Ezell is the one to keep. I have nothing against Bradford but i just don't think a change is needed here.

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LE4LIFE 2 years, 1 month ago

Conservative Give it a break!!!! I started to comment with a stupid half witted comment but realized that to get down on your level makes me no better than you. Sheriff Brown has done an excellent job. I only wish him the best and a "KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK" to all of his staff and employees, WE NEED EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU.

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covingtoner 2 years, 1 month ago

Down to what level LE4LIFE?? If your gonna say that come back with some reason. He was simply implying that there are way too many overwieght deputies ...When was the last time you did any physical fitness over there being you sound like your employed there?

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Conservative 2 years, 1 month ago

I wasn't talkIng about the department but rather the staff. Too much "waist" at the department.

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Billy 2 years, 1 month ago

I'll vote for whoever will stop setting up speed traps. Let's stop targeting honest people going to work and to shop, and put the onus on truely wreckless driving, especially tailgating. If someone is going the speed limit, (and I hope they put speedometers in pickup trucks), either back it up or pass the other driver. Use what little manners G-d gave you. BTW, as a note to the above, I automatically slow down if some one tailgates me. Seems like you pickup drivers would figure that out. On the other hand, if you're on a 55 MPH road, you ought to be doing 55, esp if there is someone behind you. We can't afford 4 lane roads all over Newton county; unless your vehicle is incapable of doing 55, let's be more considerate.. Also, glad the ambulance chaser lost. My mother voted for her, because she was voting against all incumbents, and since she doesn't keep up with politics like her Political Science major son, she didn't know who she was voting for...

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RetiredGuy 2 years, 1 month ago

No Billy! Let's have everyone obey the speed laws. Then there will not be a need for "speed traps" as you call them. Try leaving ten minutes earlier so you don't have to speed and be a menace by running up on the rear end of the car in front of you to try and make them go faster and break the speed laws.

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John 2 years, 1 month ago

If you are driving the posted speed limit the "speed traps" should never be a bother to you or any other law abiding citizen. They are set up to catch those that refuse to follow laws & rules. And by the way speedometers have been in pick-up trucks for at least the past 54 years (that's when I started driving).

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Conservative 2 years, 1 month ago

I wasn't talking about the department as Frustrated stated, I am talking about the people IN the department. Too much "waist" in that department.

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jacimo 2 years, 1 month ago

I have never voted for a Democrat, but Brown will get my vote. I guess there is a first time for everything.

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LE4LIFE 2 years, 1 month ago

Okay Conservative apparently my sarcasm and wit were lost on you. By the way, FYI it is not a department but an Office. The employees are his staff. I understood your waist comment and I state again, Thanks to ALL those who protect and serve this county and communities and Thanks again for your dedication which takes you away from your families all to often. I am sorry that there are folks who would rather tell you how you should look instead of Thanking You for what you do. Be Safe, Be Deligent for there are people out there who want to hurt you.

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inthemiddle 2 years, 1 month ago

You are right when you say "there are people out there who want to hurt you". This is why I am grateful for all law enforcement. However, it is for this same reason that I think that police and deputies should keep themselves fit and prepared for duty. No one said that citizens critiquing the fitness or professionalism of the NCSO are unappreciative of the deputies. You are mistaking constructive criticism for being unappreciated. I appreciate the deputies, but think the department could be much better than the current state with a change in leadership.

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Conservative 2 years, 1 month ago

LE4LIFE,

Using your logic, it's ok to not look professional at your job and apparently the my wit was lost on you. The CPD also leaves their family but they look much more professional in their appearance. Ease up with the capital letters as it makes you sound mad.

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Covingtonian 2 years, 1 month ago

Driving the speed limit of course is obeying the law but some feel it their duty to get in and travel the left lane on the interstate until they reach their destination. John you mentioned the" rules", not to be picky but, the rules of the road is "slower drivers move to the right". In fact some states have laws where if you travel in the left lane after passing for a period of time you can be ticketed. Also if those who want to be law abiding citizens would stay to the right or at the least in the middle lanes it would aide Leo in catching the speeders. Some of the "law abiding citizens" will ride next to a vehicle doing the speed limit for miles in their quest to be pseudo cops, this attitude can and has gotten people hurt. On county roads and city streets People have been involved in accidents because they took a chance in trying to get around someone who wouldn't let them pass and innocent law abiding drivers in other autos are maimed or killed because of such stubborness. You may be right but "don't be dead right"

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John 2 years, 1 month ago

@Covingtonian I don't disagree with anything you have posted but my post was in response to the person, Billy, commenting on "speed traps". Basically, I stated if you don't want to get a ticket don't speed and "speed kills". So as I see it your comments are a bit off base.

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LE4LIFE 2 years ago

Conservative my response said Thanks to ALL who serve this county and the communities and by the way I am mad. You can put a snake in a dress and it is still a snake an elephant in a suit and it is still an elephant and so on and so on. Conservative I for one am glad these men and women have enough heart to stay here given the fact that not enough people can say Thanks without there being a "but" attached to it. That goes for all who choose public service as a job and that covers everyone. Without the folks who serve then the trash stays piled up, roads won't get repaired and yes the phones go unanswered so yea I am mad and the way I feel alot more should get mad at people like you who always seem to criticize the way someone looks. Next time you get a public servant job stick with it instead of running away when you don't get your way.

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