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Greene County Sheriff Race Hotly Contested

By: Carter Johnson Email
By: Carter Johnson Email

November 2, 2011

Election Day is less than a week away, and in Greene County there's an abundance of signs for the the two candidates for sheriff, a race that's gaining a lot of momentum and energy in the days leading up to Nov. 8.

The candidates are Major Randall Snead and Master Deputy Steve Smith, members of the Greene County and Albemarle County sheriff's offices respectively.

“I run the agency's day-to-day operations and have been for the last eight years,” said Snead, who is running as an Independent. “That's experience that no other candidate on the ballot has.”

“I've been in law enforcement professionally for 24 years,” Smith responded.”I've run the gamut of things you can do in law enforcement.”

They're competing to replace retiring Sheriff Scott Haas, who has served as sheriff for the past eight years.

Snead discussed his proved record of leadership, saying, “It's not a matter of what we can do. I ask people to look at what we have been doing.”

However, Smith, who is running as a Republican, says the race is contested because people want change at the sheriff's office. Coming from Albemarle County, he's proposing new leadership and new initiatives.

“Two of the programs we want to start work on immediately is the CERT program, or Community Emergency Response Teams, to get citizens trained for natural disasters,” he said.

Snead, however, believes that's not the job of the sheriff's department.

“I think there's 41 CERT programs in the state of Virginia, and out of all 41 none of them are led by a sheriff's office or a law enforcement agency,” he explained.

The candidates have different ideas for the department, but both say they have the experience and leadership to take over a sheriff.

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