Leon Sheriff Not Seeking Re-Election

UPDATED by Julie Montanaro
August 28, 2013

Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell announced last week that he would not seek a sixth term in office.

He has more than 50 years in law enforcement and three more still ahead.

Two men have already made it clear they hope to succeed him in 2016.

"If I don't know everybody in Leon County, most of them know me as 'Hey Larry let me talk to you about someting," Campbell said as he talked about his tenure in office.

Campbell is the longest serving law enforcement officer in Florida. 52 years so far.

"I'm 70 years old. I will have 56 years in law enforcement."

Campbell - who is in his fifth term as Leon County Sheriff - says his age and the tone of the last election convinced him not to consider a 6th term.

"It was a dirty, nasty campaign," he said. "I'm a cop. I don't like to play those games."

Campbell is most proud of putting resource officers in schools, putting prisoners to work and helping charities like Special Olympics, the Sheriff's Youth Ranch and the United Way.

Among his regrets? not solving the 1966 murder of the Sims Family and not being able to persuade citiizens to consolidate law enforcement in Tallahassee.

"I have been a very strong advocate of consolidating the police department and the sheriff's office. I think it's ridiculous what we do in that 'this is the line I can cross' ... and I think it would benefit to the citizens of Leon County."

No one has filed to run for Campbell's seat yet, but he is backing the number two man at the Sheriff''s Office Mike Wood, who has 31 years of experience under his belt.

"I love this job. I love what I do. I love being a leader. I love being in a leadership role here at the sheriff's office and I look forward to the opportunity to lead at a different level," Wood said.

Tommy Mills - a retired Leon County Sheriff's deputy - who has run against Campbell twice and lost - says he hopes the third time's the charm in 2016.

"Sheriff Campbell has done a great job, but it's time now to prepare for the future and that's where I'm going to put my concern, not on the tenure, but on the future," Mills said.

Sheriff Campbell says for the next three years he'll continue to focus on keeping the community safe, running the regional domestic security task force and making sure the move to a newly built joint dispatch center goes smoothly.

By Julie Montanaro
August 22, 2013

Leon County, FL - Longtime Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell will hang up his gun belt after this term.

Campbell is now in his fifth term as Sheriff and has
more than 50 years in law enforcement.

Campbell - who is 70 years old right now - said today that he will not seek re-election to a sixth term in 2016.

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