PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WRBL) — Qualifying for the 2022 election in Alabama is open for Democrats and Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor wasted no time filing the paperwork.

Taylor qualified Tuesday afternoon to seek his fourth term as the county’s highest ranking law enforcement officer.

The 54-year-old Taylor has three and a half decades of law enforcement experience, most of it with the Russell County Sheriff’s Office.

“I really think that our community and the world we live in today has to have senior leadership in law enforcement that understands both sides of the aisle and can bridge the gap between what everybody is asking us to do, which is very difficult today,” Taylor told News 3. “We get pulled in every direction with everything we try and accomplish or do.”

The Alabama primary election will be held on May 24. Taylor faced opposition 12 years ago but had no opponent in the last two elections. There is no announced opposition this year.

“Why I want a fourth term is I feel like our country, our community needs stability in law enforcement in the time we are in now. And I feel like I still have things we can accomplish in Russell County as far as public safety, quality of life that we give our citizens.”

Taylor has been active in the state and national Sheriff’s associations. In 2019, he served as president of the Alabama Sheriffs Association. In 2020, he served on the Board of Directors for the National Sheriffs Association.

Also in 2020, Taylor was named the Alabama Sheriff of the Year.