Bradley County Sheriff’s race expected to bring out voters

BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Bradley County Sheriff’s race is expected to bring out a lot of voters.

Wednesday was the first day of early voting in Bradley County. Many races are uncontested, but there is a contested one that stands out.

“We have a contested sheriff’s race so that definitely plays into this and we anticipate voting typically for May election when we have a contested sheriff’s race about 13,000 votes is what we anticipate,” said Travis Henry, the election commission chairman.

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson is seeking re-election.

“We’ve got some great employees. We need to keep up the success at the sheriff’s office,” Sheriff Watson said.

He is proud with what he has done with the department over the past four years.

“I walked in with 198 employees, today I’ve got 230 employees. The county commission only gave me one of those positions. The rest of positions came from cuts I did from the top and put on the bottom. We are solving more crime, making more arrests,” Sheriff Watson said.

Steve Lawson is also running for Sheriff.

“I grew up in law enforcement. I love this county. I love the Sheriff’s Office. I grew up around it. I worked under six different sheriff’s as well as the director of the drug task force. I think I can make a difference. I think I bring to the Sheriff’s Office leadership that is respected, which won’t embarrass this county, whose only job will be to serve the people of this county and that is why I want to serve as Bradley County Sheriff,” Lawson said.

Lawson believes his experience with the drug and violence task force will help him.

“We redone it. Redone all of the policies and procedures there. I think you make footprints in life and I would ask people to gauge me by those footprints that I made and they can do my opponent likewise and compare the two candidates,” Lawson said.

Early voting will go until April 26 and Election Day is on May 1.

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