Marty Roberts officially announced Monday his intentions to run for the position of sheriff of Newton County after 23 years with the department.
"I was born and raised here," Roberts said. "I am Newton County. My career has been Newton County. This is where I have chosen to stay with my family. We believe in Newton County. We want to make sure that our schools are safe. We want to ensure that the quality of life in Newton County remains the same if not better. We are not willing to give up on Newton County."
The republican candidate, the third to announce so far, currently serves as the jail manager of the Newton County Detention Center. Roberts said his time with the department would be an asset if he were elected.
"I truly believe that the office of sheriff needs to be filled by a person who has the prior knowledge, experience and proven capability in law enforcement, but also in matters concerning the operations and budgeting of a multimillion-dollar facility," Roberts said in a written statement. "I am that person."
During his law enforcement career, Roberts has served as an investigator with both the Newton County Sheriff's Office's Criminal Investigations Division and the East Metro Drug Enforcement Team.
Roberts has also spent time working with prisoners both in the jail and at the courthouse.
"I've done almost every duty a deputy can do," Roberts said. "I've investigated every type of crime from stealing the kitchen sink to murder."
If elected, Roberts wants to continue the work begun by former Newton County Sheriff Gerald Malcom and current Sheriff Joe Nichols.
"I am serious about law enforcement and public safety in Newton County," he said in a statement. "I have the experience, knowledge, relations and ability to be a successful sheriff. The sheriff's office has been my career, and I have worked with dedicated and loyal men and women who have made sacrifices for this office.
To serve is a privilege, and I respectively ask for your support, opinions and your vote in 2008."
During his campaign, Roberts plans on sitting down with community and religious leaders to hear their concerns and ideas. Roberts will not, however, campaign on broad new ideas that he believes cannot be implemented.
"I'm willing to listen, but I don't think we really need to get into what needs to be changed. I think that what the sheriff is doing is working. I want us to continue to grow. We've got some good people with some good ideas, and I would like to get that out to the citizens. I want the citizens to realize that we have people on board who have dedicated their lives to the sheriff's office."
Anyone with questions about Roberts' campaign is asked to contact him either by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (770) 784-2295.
A Web site will soon be up and running, Roberts said.
Roberts is opposed by fellow republicans NCSO Lt. Bill Watterson and Covington Chief of Police Stacey Cotton. Lt. Ezell Brown announced his candidacy as a democrat last week.
Primary elections will be held on July 15 while the general election will take place Nov. 4.