All three candidates for clerk of court and three of four candidates seeking the sheriff’s post participated in the Concordia Chamber of Commerce’s Political Forum last Thursday (Aug. 22) in Vidalia.
Chamber President Tance Hughes welcomed attendees – approximately 250 -- for the event before introducing the moderator, publisher Sam Hanna, Jr.
Candidates for both clerk and sheriff were each given time for opening remarks and asked to answer two questions concerning issues relating to the posts they are seeking.
Clerk candidates at the forum included Andy Anders, Pascha Cater Brown and Phillip Webber.
Andy Anders was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2006 and is now completing his final term in the position. He said he would rely on his business background and experience in operating the clerk’s office. Upgrading technology was important to the future of the clerk’s office, he said, adding that he would work with grant writers for funding.
Pascha Cater Brown is a license realtor with a business background who worked for a long period at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Vidalia where she met many parish residents, she said. Brown said she would put customer service first, would upgrade technology in the office and make documents available online in a secure fashion.
Phillip Webber, son of Clerk of Court Clyde Ray Webber who is not seeking re-election, has worked 21 years with the sheriff’s office and is chief investigator. He said his dream since childhood has been to serve as clerk. Webber said the clerk’s office is funded solely on the revenue it produces. He said he plans to continue improving technology at the office.
Candidates for sheriff at the forum included David Hedrick, Denis Mulvihill and Fred Taylor.
Hedrick, who serves as chief deputy in the sheriff’s office, said he would be conservative in handling finances of the department, that prevention was a key in fighting crime and that he has spent 26 years in law enforcement. He said while the opiod and drug problem has soared, the sheriff’s office has been aggressive in fighting the problem with 400 drug arrests made annually. “I want to keep you and your children safe,” he said.
Denis Mulvihill said he would fight the rising crime rate with more deputies, an increase in patrols and a narcotics task force working 24/7. He said he would bring back neighborhood watch programs, hire full time school resource officers and would work to turn around “the seven-year deficit.” He said a team of grant writers was needed and that he would cut “frivolous spending.”
Fred Taylor said that those who go to jail should stay in jail until their sentences are complete. He said that he thought police officers did a good job. Concerning the budget, he said he wouldn’t know what his would be until he was in office and could review the finances.