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Next up in our primary election poll series is the Republican race for sheriff. Who will you vote for?


Deannie: July 25, 2012 5:23 p.m.

I have known Bill since he was a young officer with Newton County. He has always presented himself in a very friendly, professional manner. His attitude and willingness to devote his time and education to the betterment of our county makes me want to vote for him. He presented a fair race last time and is doing the same in the current run for Sheriff. I truly believe he will be an asset to our police department and will go beyond what is necessary to treat each employee with respect and fairness in all aspects of his office. Good job and good luck. You have my vote on July 31st.

Jackrabbitslim: July 26, 2012 4:16 p.m.

I've also known Bill and Philip for twenty plus years and they both are fine law enforcement officers. The difference is that Bill has served twenty three of his twenty seven years in law enforcement with the Sheriffs Office and not with the police department. I'm not a cop but I was in the military and I know we didn't promote Navy officers to Generals in the Army and the Navy didnt promote Army officers to Admiral. The reason the branches dont do this is because the years of experience in each respective branch prepares you to lead THAT service. These two agencies these guys work for are VERY different from what I understand by talking to the deputies that have reached out to me. The police department has approximately 45 employees and they patrol 15 square miles. The Sheriffs Department has approximately 230 employees and patrols 279 square miles. What kind of message does this send to the young Deputies who have just started? Quit the Sheriffs Office and go work twenty years with a police department so you can come back and be Sheriff? My understanding is that Watterson has worked and supervised in every division of the Sherrifs Office and never even had a write up or disciplinary action in 23 years. Again, both are fine officers but there has to be some value for experience gained while working in the organization you want to lead.

rydersmama: July 26, 2012 9:34 p.m.

Both candidates have extensive law enforcement backgrounds, grew up in this county, and have strong family ties to this community. BUT the bottom line is you have to go with the candidate that has 23 years experience in the SHERIFF'S Office of Newton County. Bill Watterson is with out a doubt the most qualified candidate in this race. The UNTAMPERED poll from the first day confirmed that the majority of the readers of the Covington News feel the same way. VOTE BILL WATTERSON ON JULY 31ST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CovingtonCowboy: July 26, 2012 10:27 p.m.

I was really interested in seeing what the true results of this poll was until my wife and I noticed that starting this afternoon the Badford votes went haywire. This Bradford guy has gotten five votes every thirty seconds for the last six hours. We found that erasing the cookies on your computer lets anyone vote over and over. Good job Covington news, and good job to whoever is hitting the votes over and over. You swayed us for sure....... to vote for Watterson.

CovingtonCowboy: July 26, 2012 10:30 p.m.

Okay now we're up to ten votes every thirty seconds! Man Bradford is popular!

CovingtonCowboy: July 26, 2012 10:33 p.m.

Wow! twenty eight votes in the last minute at 1030 at night. Bradford IS popular!

1voice: July 26, 2012 10:37 p.m.

I know both candidates personally and would unequivocally recommend Philip Bradford for Sheriff. The simple truth is that Bradford is THE person that WILL beat Ezzell Brown in November. Watterson had his turn four years ago to beat Brown and was unsuccessful. Now is the time for the party to unite and support THE person that will beat Brown in November. Bradford, not only has the background that out shines Watterson AND Brown, but also has uncompromising integrity and ethics that the NCSO and Newton County citizens deserve. Please take the time to research the candidates. or

Awarded The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Webber Seavy Award For Innovative Law Enforcement For Implementation Of VIPER

Graduate Of FBI National Academy & DEA Drug Unit Commanders Academy in Quantico, Virginia

Public Safety Leadership Institute at Mercer University

Carl Vinson Institute Of Government Graduate at University Of Georgia

By the way, Ronald Reagan is one of the most beloved Republicans in history and he started his career as a famed movie star. Do you think he brought fresh, new, bold and uncompromising ideas to each step of his political career? Absolutely!

Factchecker: July 26, 2012 11:28 p.m.

True Bill Watterson has 20 plus years experience at NCSO, I hate to pop your bubble folks but thats my reason for NOT voting for him. You can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results. The MAIN function that NCSO is tasked with is providing police service to areas of Newton Co. not served by the municipalities. Bradford comes from an agency that does that and apparently does a darn good job of it. Its harder to get hired at Covington PD, its harder to get promoted, Covington has better equipment and higher pay. Bradford knows what it takes to run an agency that can eventually attract and retain quality law enforcement officers. The fact that Watterson worked there for twenty something years is a negative the public just doesnt realize it.

lawman0228: July 27, 2012 12:28 a.m.

I am writing this as a concerned citizen of this county as well as an officer who has been in law enforcement for 12 years. I am asking you all to please take the time to know your candidates policies. We have voted in a president based upon popularity and now this nation is suffering because of it. Let's not make the same mistake with our Sheriff. Too many people are supporting Watterson based upon his popularity and his public persona. Last time I checked, shaking hands and kissing babies does not put criminals in jail. We need a leader that's tough. A simple fact for you all; Sheriff Brown has implemented a proactive Sheriff's Office. Prior to Sheriff Brown, the agency was run based upon a reactive standpoint. Watterson has openly stated that he wants to place deputies back into the patrol division that are being used elsewhere. You should know the underlying meaning there. He has long been known to oppose the proactive mindset that the agency has adopted, though he may not voice it to the public in such a blatant manner. Watch the videos of the forums he has attended. Read between the lines and don't be blinded by his political spin. The county has a narcotics unit as well as a crime suppression unit that are able to devote time to citizen complaints while the patrol deputies continue to handle the calls for service. These citizen complains are the voice of the county. Ordinary people who are tired of their neighborhoods being overrun by chaos. If Watterson were to be elected, who would hear this voice? Who would have the time to address the issue of drug dealers, car thiefs, burglars, etc? NO ONE WOULD! They would all be too busy answering calls for events that have already occurred instead of trying to stop them either before or during the act. All this being said, has Watterson addressed how he proposes to quell these issues? Nope! That being said, I am republican, thus for reasons that I won't go into due to restraints on space, I am voting for Bradford. Understand that I have nothing against Sheriff Brown. I feel that he has begun to lead the agency down the right track but lacks the knowhow that Bradford possesses. Read Bradford's credentials. He is a proven, proactive leader who knows how to make things happen. He may not go to church with you, or buy you dinner at Frank's when he sees you, but he does know how to combat crime and he's relentless. This may not make him such a popular guy, but then again, for those that don't like him... Let's just submit your criminal histories and we will all see why. Criminals hate good officers. Please educate yourselves.

lawman0228: July 27, 2012 12:52 a.m.

I would like to add one more thing. As i stated previously, I am a citizen of Newton County but I work elsewhere. My experience has been firsthand with the agency. Sheriff Brown and his deputies are professional and diligent. Unfortunately, I am also one of the citizens that has had to deal with the anarchist mindset that is sadly taking over our youth. However, because of the proactive agency that now exists, my neighbors and I are much safer. Three fine young men decided to burglarize half of my neighborhood. The deputies on the crime suppression unit were able to catch them within hours after the initial call and returned almost all of the belongings back to the victims. They caught the individuals still in my neighborhood as they were probably riding around looking for more houses to burglarize. If this unit didn't exist and they were catching calls as Watterson would have it, who knows what the outcome would have been. They simply would have taken the call, done the report, and moved on to the next call due to time constraints. Meanwhile, the report has to sit in limbo while the investigators have to track down the culprits. Agencies that aren't proactive are pacifists. From what Watterson has stated thus far in forums and in my own research, he wants to take it back to how Sheriff Nichols ran it. Just what this county needs, another "good 'ole boy" agency too worried about hurting feelings and losing votes. Careful what we wish for folks. Remember, a lot can happen in a four year term. Would you rather be stuck with a pacifist or a man of integrity and gumption?

Ugapower: July 27, 2012 9:34 a.m.

This thread is why voting these days is so difficult. I too have been told by ninety percent of friends and especially the cops to vote for Bill Watterson but I wanted to decide for myself. Here is what Ive learned from this thread that will help me decide:

1) I, like the previous poster, wanted to see the TRUE results of this poll. It's been fun watching the tight races in the other polls. The poll was about 700 to 300 at the end of day one one and then from 1130pm to 500am Bradford got 600 votes! At one point Bradford was getting 30 votes a minute.
2) Rydersmama is so pro-Watterson I discount her opinion immediately. At least she didn't slam Sheriff Brown or Bradford (actually gave him a compliment)and she is right about July 31st in that you cant vote 30 times a minute.

3) 1Voice is like Rydersmama and obviously works on Bradfords campaign. Duh!

4) Factchecker probably works for Covington Police Department and is well versed in the hiring and promotional process of CPD.

5) Lawman 0228, I was told, just might be the former Covington PD badge number 228 who worked for Philip on Viper with CPD and now works part time in the neighboring county and had his neighborhood burglarized. Hmmmmmm?

6) I liked Sheriff Nichols AND the way he did things. Calling him or the current Sheriff a good'ole boy is disrespectful and I don't think I've ever heard anyone ever accused him of being scared of anything and my family has been here for fifty years.

I think my family and I will be voting for either Mr. Watterson or Sheriff Brown this year because they both have done a good job running on their own merits and not criticizing the other opponents. They both did better at the forums too.

mdslater: July 27, 2012 11:48 a.m.

As a citizen of Newton Co., a wife of a Police Officer and a sister of a Police Officer, I am voting for Bill Watterson. It IS important to know your candidate and actions speak louder than words for me. I have read and heard enough about the background of both candidates to know Watterson is the right choice for my County, my family and myself. In the debate with Watterson, I was flabbergasted to hear Bradford say, he goes to Conyers and supports the businesses there because of Sunday liquor sales. (I am aware that is a condensed version but it is what HE said). REALLY, during a debate for an office in Newton County, you go on and on stating how you support the businesses of Rockdale County because they sell alcohol on Sunday’s. Okay business owners of Newton Co. what does this tell you? It starts with straightforward actions, if you do not even support the County you live in, how do I know you even care about its problems? I also have another question: if Mr. Bradford did such a wonderful job with Covington, why aren’t more of the people he worked with coming out to support him? I see very clearly, those that dare to defy Sherriff Brown coming out, risking their jobs, to support Watterson because they know he will do the right things for this County. Please everyone get out and vote July 31 our County needs someone that cares about ALL of us!

Ugapower: July 27, 2012 12:08 p.m.

Wow. Bradford only has twenty votes today. Over one thousand in six hours yesterday and only twenty today. Hmmmmmm

Missdebbie84: July 27, 2012 5:20 p.m. are so on the money! This voting process in this poll was accurate the first 8 hrs.....after couldnt hold water on the truth! When you go vote....lets see what that reflects. You can only vote "1" time then...and on that must be a registered voter!.....not just old enough to know how to press some buttons on a computer keyboard. July 31st.....Mr.Watterson has all 4 votes from my home!!!

really: July 28, 2012 11:28 a.m.

I have been a resident and property owner over 13 yrs in Newton County and I've seen a steady decline in crime prevention & the sheriff's office services. I am writing as a concerned citizen in fear of Newton County ending up like Dekalb. With the influx of crime & drug activity there needs to be new innovative techniques to save this county. I know Ezell, Waterson & Bradford personally, each of them have dedicated many years of service to this county, however not all have given 100%. There is NO accountability in the current administration. The deputies have not received raises in YEARS and the agency is swimming in debt, however the spending is out of control. While there are NOT enough deputies to answer calls on a daily basis the current administration is sending 20+ deputies to assist @ the democratic convention. As for the Waterson supporters, I don't understand how anybody that lives in the city would vote for him because anyone who claims to KNOW him knows how much he dislikes the city and I know for a FACT that he has on more than one occasion made complaints to the current sheriff of deputies coming into the city to assist with the growing drug problems. Waterson has never taken a proactive stand on crime in this county. Not to mention he never had a solid platform during his first run for sheriff. Bradford on the other hand has proven to be a leader, hard worker & proven he knows what it takes to get the job done. He started @ CPD working the jail, for those of you that have been around long enough to remember that. He is always been VERY proactive and fair in handling any criminal activity that has happened in both the city AND the county. He has also been assigned to a federal task force where he still has active contacts, which could possibly lead to county/federal task force positions that could possibly bring in much needed money for training & equipment that could ease the S.O.'s budget struggles. He has been a commander for EMDET & SIU which were highly effective and productive, for both the city AND the county, while under his command. Bradford is a "lead by example" leader and has a way of bringing out the best in people & employees that are with him and around him. For those of you that say a city police officer is not capable of running a sheriff's office, Sheriffs Malcolm, Nichols & Brown were ALL former CPD officers, it is time we stop voting for someone because they knew our parents and vote for the one that can turn this county around and bring REAL change to make our communities safer. Bradford has my vote, which I'm sure is VERY clear.

index21: July 29, 2012 1:06 a.m.

If I am voting on who I believe will make Newton County safer for my family, friends and others... then there is no doubt Philip Bradford is the man for the job. Bradford has a proven record of not only hard work ethics but also for keeping crime off the streets. He doesn't just say it, but shows it! He is no doubt the man for Sheriff of Newton County!

DustinKetchem DustinKetchem: July 30, 2012 3:33 p.m.

During Ezell Browns tenure our tax digest shrank tremendously. Nearly half of the Sheriffs Deputies working had to be let go. The calls never stopped coming. Ezell Brown was still able to make Newton County one of the top Sheriffs Departments in the State. Because of Sheriff Brown Newton County received a $1 Million dollar grant from the federal Government.

"The Newton County Sheriff's Office is the only sheriff's office in the state of Georgia to receive this award and one of 30 in the nation. This speaks volumes about the professionalism at the Newton County Sheriff's Office, as well as the leadership. A special thanks to Congressman Hank Johnson and his support for the Newton County Sheriff's Office."

During Ezells time as Sheriff he has managed the budget with efficiency. He has even given back $400,000 to the county to help with other expenses.

The argument over which "Republican" deserves to be Sheriff is over blown. Seriously.. why is this even a partisan race? Why is anyone considering replacing Sheriff Brown when everything is going well?

As far as who deserves to have a chance to be Sheriff. The only candidate running on the Republican ticket hat has a chance at winning is Bill Watterson. Philip Bradford may have lots of qualifications. It takes more than certificates, classes, and arresting as many people as you can to be Sheriff.

Philip Bradford talks about wanting to "have every Sheriffs deputy on the road to have a car pulled over at all times." That means he values quantity of arrest over quality of arrest. Not only will our deputies be wasting time fighting petty crime, and irritating regular everyday citizens. Our jail will be full, and our court system will be backlogged.

This meathead mentality of law enforcement is not what people in this county want. I recommend that the public think long and hard about the decision they are about to make. An oppressive Sheriffs department will be less efficient. Our Deputies will be overworked and over stressed. Our jail will be full, and we will have to expand. Response time will be cut down because our Deputies will be working too many calls.

Sheriff Brown is doing a great job. We shouldnt just vote someone out because its election season and someone you know is running. You dont change Sheriff's every 4 years. You make a change when things are going in the wrong direction. As it stands today everything is going well. On November 6th I am confident Ezell Brown will remain Sheriff.

As a person who plays an active role in local politics I'd love to see Philip Bradford win. I think it would be an easy win for Ezell in Nov. However, as a concerned voter who loves Newton County I would rather see Bill Watterson win the Republican Primary.

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