Marion County Sheriff will not Seek Re-Election
"I will not seek re-election in 2012," Marion County Sheriff Ed Dean told TV20 Tuesday.
The Sheriff said he pondered his decision for the last couple of weeks.
Sheriff Ed Dean was appointed by Lawton Chiles in 1998 and elected in 2000, 2004 and again in 2008.
But in what he called critical times, the Sheriff said he did not want to be distracted by the election process.
"I really need to focus 100 percent of my effort on making sure, in the next two years that I have to serve, that we don't cut essential services, and we don't lay people off, and reduce the level of service that we have for the good citizens," he said.
Under his command, the Department increased the number of patrol deputies, added a new 911 dispatch center, and took control of the County's Juvenile Detention Center from the hands of the State.
"I'm proud of all the things that we've accomplished here, there's a list of them but I don't take credit for it," the Sheriff said. "You know, the great staff, they are the ones that do it."
The Sheriff recently proposed consolidating his department with Marion County Fire Rescue, a move commissioners recently dismissed. When asked if that decision influenced him to not run for re-election the Sheriff replied, "That's a lot of speculation. Clearly when it was going forward I did not consider not running," he said.
But Sheriff Dean said there was no sense in looking back and will concentrate on the future of the department he so dearly loves.
"This is my thirteenth year, and I just couldn't live with the fact to see it go backwards, so I'm going to focus in on that," Dean said.
The Sheriff has not made plans for after 2012 just yet, but with ten grandchildren, he told TV20 that "Marion County is where it's at."
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