Caldwell pleased with voters' choice of new sheriff

Staff Writer
Brownwood Bulletin

 Brown County Sheriff George Caldwell maintained a low profile throughout the campaign to elect his successor, although he quietly supported his chief deputy, Vance Hill. Hill, one of three candidates in Tuesday’s Brown County Primary Election, finished first in the voting and garnered enough votes to avoid a runoff.

    Wednesday morning, a day after the election, Caldwell had more to say. The theme of Tuesday’s vote in the sheriff’s race: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Caldwell said in a written statement.

    “Though much was said about a new direction and a fresh approach, the voters elected a strong, steady and experienced man to lead them in some perilous times,” Caldwell said in the statement. “Many prayed that God would give us the right man to lead us at the sheriff’s office. He sent us Vance Hill, a humble but resolute man who will serve and protect the citizens of Brown County for years to come.”

    Many worked tirelessly to elect Hill, and no one worked more than Hill’s wife, Angie, Caldwell said.

Caldwell said he’d been confident Hill would finish first in the primary election, but he was less  confident there would  be no need for a runoff.

    “I’m very pleased at the voters of Brown County’s choice for sheriff,” Caldwell said.”I tried not to use the power of the office while still supporting Vance.”

    Brown County Commissioners appointed Caldwell as sheriff in late September to fill the unexpired term of Bobby Grubbs, who died Sept. 3. Caldwell will step down as sheriff when the term ends on Dec. 31.

    Hill does not have a Democratic opponent in the November general election.

    A total of 8,925 voters cast ballots in the Brown County Republican Party Primary election — nearly 40 percent of the county’s 22,414 registered voters, according to unofficial numbers from the Brown County Election’s Office. The Brown County Democratic Party Primary drew 552 voters.

    “Just massive voter turnout,” Brown County Republican Party Chairman Robert Porter said, noting that people were standing in line at some of the poling places at 7 p.m. “We had a record number of voters in the early voting and mail-in ballots, and in the actual ballots at the various precincts.”