Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Election 2008; Clay County Sheriff

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Election 2008; Clay County Sheriff

Article excerpt

RICK BESELER REPUBLICAN

Age: 54

Previous office: Elected Clay County sheriff in 2004.

Education: Bachelor's degree, Florida State University; master's degree, University of North Florida; FBI National Academy, 141st Session, 1985.

Occupation: Clay County sheriff.

Family: Wife, Joan; three children.

Website: www.claysheriff.com.

What are the two most important issues? Budget cuts and the reduction of violent crime. "More people mean more calls for services but fewer resources to work with. During my term as sheriff, I demonstrated the ability to cut costs but still provide quality service. My budget requests were the smallest percentage increases in many years and on top of that I was able to return over $2 million in unused tax dollars over three years. All the while, quality service was delivered and our crime rate fell to its lowest level in eight years. ..."

Where would you concentrate available resources in your county? "To deploy officers as effectively as possible, a crime analysis unit has been established." Crime reports help find hot spots and resources "can be sent for intensive police presence. At the same time, a list of the worst criminals has been developed and specialized units concentrate on making cases to remove the worst criminals. ..."

AARON "GARY" NEWMAN REPUBLICAN

Age: 66

Previous office: None.

Education: Lathrop High School, Fairbanks, Alaska. Attended St. Johns River Community College.

Occupation: Retired deputy director of security for Jacksonville Naval Air Station.

Family: Wife, Mary Anne; two children; one granddaughter.

What are the two most important issues? Crime and drug trafficking.

"Felony crimes rose significantly in 2005 and 2006 and dropped by only 2.1 percent in 2007. This is totally unacceptable." The majority of crimes, the candidate said, are drug abusers seeking ways to make quick money to buy drugs. " ... A strong emphasis will be placed on seeking out drug traffickers who dare to ply their chosen trade. …

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