The Hamilton County Democratic Party’s executive committee on Saturday chose County Commissioner Greg Beck as its nominee for sheriff in the Aug. 7 election.
“It’s not going to be easy,” Mr. Beck said of the campaign. “We need you to stand with us.”
Mr. Beck listed raising sheriff’s department morale, school safety and dealing with jail overcrowding as major priorities in his campaign.
“We don’t view this as a time of desperation,” he said. “I view this as a magic moment.”
The sheriff’s seat came open when former Sheriff Billy Long, a Democrat, resigned Feb. 6. Mr. Long is facing federal drug, gun, money laundering and extortion charges.
Mr. Beck, also a Chattanooga City Court officer, beat former East Ridge police lieutenant and Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s Office investigator Jim Winters for the nomination.
Another priority of Mr. Beck’s is to make sure that parents are made responsible for their children’s actions, he said.
“We need some help in our schools,” he said. “I think parents should be progressively responsible for what their children are doing.”
A majority of the executive committee’s 55 voting members voted in favor of Mr. Beck, according to county party Chairman John Bailes.
“(Mr. Beck) will make a good sheriff because of his involvement in the community, record as a public official, and experience with law enforcement,” Mr. Bailes said. “Democrats are ready to work hard to get him elected.”
The Hamilton County Republican Party will select its candidate for sheriff at a convention on March 27. The GOP will select delegates for that convention on Monday.
The parties must hold caucuses to select their nominees because Mr. Long resigned after the Feb. 5 county primary.
* March 27: Republicans select sheriff nominee
* April 3: Paperwork due for sheriff candidates at Hamilton County Election Commission
* Aug. 7: Sheriff election