Special Election for Randolph County Sheriff - WRBL

Special Election for Randolph County Sheriff

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Randolph County Sheriff Gary Yochum died earlier this year, now a special election has been called to fill that position. Candidates want citizens to pay attention to their platforms, not small town politics.

Interim Sheriff, Eddie Fairbanks will face-off with Harold Piper in the special election, following the death of longtime Sheriff Gary Yochum.

"My heart is in law enforcement and the people of this county," said Piper.

Harold Piper touts his 25 years of experience as Deputy Sheriff in Polk County Florida.  He bought property in Randolph County in 1996.  Piper retired and made a permanent move with his wife in 2003.

Piper says his passion for serving people, wouldn't let him sit still for long.  He lost the race against Yochum, and is giving it another go- - pushing for a crime stopper line, a quarterly community meeting, and more deputy training and visibility.

"It'll take time but that's what I want to do is get the deputies to Forsyth for more training," said Piper.

Interim Sheriff Eddie Fairbanks has 23 years of experience. Fairbanks says Sheriff Yochum was his father figure and mentor, who prepped him for the position.

"Me and him talked about everything that was going on in the county and what we need to do, and what I needed to do to be a successful sheriff," said Fairbanks. 

Fairbanks wants to create community awareness by reaching out to citizens, and helping them develop relationships with deputies.  He also plans to develop more programs for youth.  

Both candidates say they want voters to focus on the issues, rather than race and rumors.

"Well a lots been said that I'm going to fire everybody at the Randolph County Sheriff's Office and that's not true.  I look forward to working with these people.  Most of them are from Randolph County they have family and children.  This is where their heart is," said Piper.

"I want them to pick the best person for the job. I feel I'm that person. I've been in this county The people know me here.  I grew up here. I got married here and raised my kids here," said Fairbanks.

The special election will be held March 19th.  Sheriff Gary Yochum passed away in January. He died of a massive heart attack at the age of 62.

Brandice Hudson

Brandice Hudson is a weekend anchor and digital journalist for WRBL News 3. She comes to Columbus from sunny West Palm Beach, Fla. More>>

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