Watterson announces bid for Newton sheriff

COVINGTON -- Bill Watterson announced Monday that he will make a second bid to become sheriff of Newton County.

Watterson, who had worked for the Sheriff's Office for more than 20 years, will face Covington Police Department Capt. Philip Bradford in the July 31 Republican primary. Incumbent Sheriff Ezell Brown has announced he will seek re-election as a Democrat.

Watterson won the Republican primary for sheriff in 2008 but lost in the general election.

In a statement released Monday, Watterson said his goal is to return the Sheriff's Office to the people of Newton County.

"I have lived and learned from past sheriffs like Gerald Malcom and Joe Nichols that the Sheriff's Office is only as effective as the relationship it has with its citizens," Watterson said. "Sheriff Nichols reminded me constantly that the office of the sheriff belonged to the people and he had to answer to them, and that's why he had an open door policy for everyone. The quality of their leadership and their devotion to the people set the example I want to follow."

Watterson said he resigned from the Sheriff's Office in order to run for election.

"I want to make it clear that it was my decision to leave the department because I felt that the Sheriff's Office, under the current administration, has moved away from these core beliefs," Watterson said. "I felt the call to leave to be free to pursue the office of sheriff, not only to better serve the citizens of Newton County, but to also protect the hard-working employees of the current Sheriff's Office. I would like to return the NCSO to a place of fairness, job security and a place where people want to come to work again."

Watterson has worked in numerous divisions during his 23 years with the Sheriff's Office, including detention center, patrol division supervisor, community outreach division, civil division, CHAMPS division, school resource officer division, and vehicle maintenance division. In addition, he has worked in investigations, traffic enforcement/accident reconstruction and the East Metro Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Watterson is a U.S. Air Force and Army reserve veteran and a lifelong resident of Newton County. His wife, Yolonda, is an elementary school teacher in Newton County. They are the parents of two sons, McKenzie, 14, and Micah, 11.


jwm1955 3 years, 7 months ago

I know anybody has a right to run for sheriff that has the abilities to do the job, but I for one have been well satisfied with Sheriff Brown. He has had to deal with one of the worse economic times for the last four years, I know that job security is important to everyone but with the way things are that is not possible. It has not only effected Newton County but the entire world. Sheriff Brown has always had the time to hear me and other people, So don't knock the man out because of him doing the best he can do with what he has to work with when the budget he gets is what has.


covington 3 years, 7 months ago

Well satisfied? That sounds so???? I don't think you got the jist of the article. I didn't gather that Mr. Watterson was talking about the county being short on budget concerns but perhaps that there are other reasons for the employees to be concerned about job security. I also think he was respectful on why he said he wanted to run. He didn't bad mouth the current Sheriff but merely pointed out he thought they had a difference of "core beliefs". The Sheriff's Office seems to have lost quite a few employees to surrounding counties so it seems he is making a valid point about improving the moral of the department. I just HATE it when people mention something about the Sheriff's Office it seems that people like you want to jump out of the woodwork and mention how others shouldn't "knock" the Sheriff. I, for one, will be listening to EVERYONE who is running and try to make a educated choice for who will be running the Sheriff's Office-who will be protecting us- for the next four years and move beyond just being "well satisfied".


amp72 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm afraid to comment. I may get arrested. Or sued.


livingart 3 years, 7 months ago

I welcome other opinions...Some people amaze me with only (what I call) "programmed tunnel vision"......and never learn or listen to others...


jwm1955 3 years, 7 months ago

I for one did not come out of the wood work I have been living in this county for all my 56 years, I'm not knocking the people that are running for sheriff. I can remember when there was the sheriff and two deputies and belive me there was less crime then than there is now. I do not have programmed tunnel vission and my hears are open to hear to others. If you look at the history when people are out of work stealing goes up, it is sad when they go to Lawnwood and steal a vase off someones grave, steal air conditioning units from a church. I can say that the sheriffs department has made a arrest for the murders that has happen in our county, The morale in the sheriffs department has never been high even for the past four decades. Think about this when they arrest someone they go to court and the person get their hand slapped and told not to do it again. I can remember a man was ran over by a drunk driver and was arrested for 2nd degree vehicle homicide and he was found innocent. So as I said don't blame Sheriff Brown,put on the B O C for not giving the funds to fight the crimes.And I will go to say the Liberails and the tree huggerss, we are living in the times of giving money to the lazy.


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