Occupation: Former Lee County sheriff’s deputy; owner of a lawn maintenance business
Post Sought: Lee County sheriff
Family: Wife, Kristi; children, Danielle Musgrove, 24, Taylor Cheshire, 17, Mikayla Eubanks, 12
Key Issues: End wasteful spending in sheriff’s office; Reorganize department to have more officers on patrol; Create citizens academy to educate public
LEESBURG, Ga. — David Cheshire says he has an advantage most candidates challenging an incumbent sheriff don't have: knowledge of the internal workings of the sheriff's department.
Cheshire, who has 23 years of law enforcement experience, including the last eight with the Lee Sheriff's Office, said he'll use that knowledge to improve the department if voters select him to replace Sheriff Reggie Rachals.
To read more about David Cheshire's opponent, Reggie Rachals click here.
"I've seen examples of wasteful spending in the sheriff's office since (Rachals) has been in office," Cheshire said. "And it starts with the administration. The first thing I'd do in office is restructure the department so that we have less administrative staff and more deputies on patrol.
"Some people have told me they're hearing that I plan to reduce the number of deputies patrolling the county, but that's absolutely not true. In fact, I think we need more deputies on the road."
Cheshire started his law enforcement career at the age of 18 and graduated from the law enforcement academy in 1990. He worked with sheriff's departments in Calhoun and Early counties before landing a job with the Lee Sheriff's Office in 2003. He was promoted to senior lieutenant before resigning on Dec. 1, 2011 to run for the office.
"I decided to run for this office because even though things are pretty good right now in Lee County, they could be better," Cheshire said. "I want to make this community better for my family, and understand that I consider Lee County my family."
Cheshire said he would like to educate the public about the duties of the sheriff's office by starting a citizens academy to tie in with the county's neighborhood watch program. He said he wants to create a Special Operations unit that would help with educational programs, as well as provide additional manpower in areas of greatest concern.
"When I talk about my plans in the sheriff's office, I don't use 'I,' I use 'we,'" the challenger said. "This office is not about me or any other one person. It's about the people of Lee County and where they're heading in the future.
"We live in a great community, but we've got to stay ahead of the criminals. If we ever fall back, let the criminal element get ahead, we'll be playing catch-up. And that makes things a whole lot tougher."
Cheshire has criticized Rachals during the campaign for what has described as improper use of the bid process when securing work at the law enforcement center. Cheshire said he has sought a record of bids for a new camera system at the jail and for a fence constructed around the center.
"The county has a bid system in place, but I have not been able to obtain evidence of the sheriff using that system," Cheshire said. "I can't get a record of any of the bids he said he got for the camera system and the fence. That's the kind of information the people expect from their elected officials."
Cheshire said if voters place him in the sheriff's office, he will remain the same man they elected.
"I will not lose my personality and become someone else," he said. "I know the people are the ones who put you into office, and if they're not satisfied with the job you're doing, they'll take you out."