UPDATED 3.4.2011 4pm by Julie Montanaro
Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell ended months of speculation today and announced he will be running for re-election in 2012.
Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell recently celebrated 50 years in law enforcement and announced today that he wants at least four more.
"It has been my great honor to serve the citizens," Campbell said as he choked with up with emotion.
Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell announced Friday he intends to run for a fifth term in office, clearly an emotional decision for the longest serving lawman in the state.
"Now is not the time to throw in the towel. as long as I am sheriff we will have a safe and secure county," Campbell said.
Campbell said he spends more time behind the desk than he'd like but, "The fun part is to lock one of them up. The fun part is seeing Hilton in the penitentiary, seeing him hopefully got to the execution chamber."
Campbell said he had considered retirement, but the lung cancer survivor got a clean bill of health from his doctors and says he'll use that strength to lobby against cutbacks being considered at the capitol.
"I'm going to fight like a dog to make sure these people up here do not have their salaries adversely affected. I want to make sure everybody keeps their job," Campbell said.
Campbell already has one opponent in the race. Lisa Sprague has a 30 year law enforcement resume on college campuses and says it is time for a change at the Leon S-O.
Sprague said Campbell's decision to run for re-election didn't change her game plan at all.
"I respect Mr. Campbell. He's been in office for a very long time. I am running for the CEO seat of the Leon County Sheriff. So it doesn't ... I have many attributes. I have many ideas. I think it's time for a fresh approach," Sprague said.
"I will run on the record of the Leon County Sheriff's Office. If the people aren't satisfied with us, I'll be tremendously shocked," Campbell said.
Had Sheriff Campbell announced his retirement today instead, many had expected candidates to come out of the woodwork to run for sheriff. Now that he's running for re-election that pool may be significantly smaller, but there's lots of time between now and election day 2012.
[UPDATE] 3-4 Noon -- by Julie Montanaro
Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell announces he will seek a fifth term in office.
Larry Campbell recently celebrated 50 years in law enforcement and announced today he wants at least four more.
Campbell announced his decision to us at the same time he announced it to his employees. He choked up with emotion soon after uttering the words, "I intend to seek reelection."
Campbell says he received a clean bill of health from his doctors and is going to need all his strength to fight cutbacks being considered at the capitol.
"After five decades in law enforcement, I considered retirement .. but frankly, now is not the time. With the decline in our economy, and more and more crime," Sheriff Campbell says, "drug pushers, and gang members continue to try to gain a foothold in our county."
Campbell already has one opponent in this race. Lisa Sprague, formerly with FSU Police, filed her paperwpork to run yesterday.
[UPDATE] 3-4 10am
LCSO Sheriff Larry Campbell will seek a 5th term as sheriff of Leon County.
Longtime Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell has called a press conference for Friday morning to announce whether he will seek re-election or retire.
That press conference is set for 10am at the Sheriff's Office.