Nassau County Sheriff

Published On: Aug 01 2012 03:34:39 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 01 2012 08:31:45 PM EDT

Four candidates are running to replace Sheriff Tommy Seagraves, who is not seeking reelection.

Bill Leeper, Chris Hartley, Garland "Bubba" Rhoden and Steve Whitley are all Republicans, but since no Democrat is in the race, all Nassau County voters will see this race on their ballot and the winner of primary will be the sheriff for the next four years.

Scroll down and read about each of the candidates:

Bill Leeper

AGE:  58

FAMILY:  Married to high school sweetheart Emma Lannon Leeper for 30 years; son, Jordan (28); daughter Chelsea (24)

OCCUPATION: Retired captain with the Florida Highway Patrol; small business owner in downtown Fernandina Beach

EDUCATION:  Fernandina Beach High School, class of 1971; Associate of arts, Florida Community College at Jacksonville; Bachelor of arts, Columbia College-Missouri; Florida Highway Patrol Academy; University of Louisville's Southern Police Institute; Northwestern University's senior management leadership program; law enforcement science and criminal justice certificate, National Chiefs Association

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE:  Former city commissioner and two-term mayor of Fernandina Beach

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN THIS RACE?


HOW CAN YOU HELP VOTERS IN A WAY IN A WAY THAT OTHERS RUNNING FOR THIS OFFICE CANNOT?


WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ACCOMPLISHING AFTER SERVING IN THIS OFFICE?


CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: BillLeeper.com | Facebook.com/Bill-Leeper-for-Nassau-County-Sheriff

Chris Hartley

AGE:  41

FAMILY:  Wife & three children

OCCUPATION:  Retired

EDUCATION:  High school, college, graduate of two law enforcement academies

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE:  None

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN THIS RACE?

  1. "Not allowing the 'good old boy' network to plague Nassau County
  2. "Picking the candidate that will benefit the community the most and themselves the least
  3. "Electing someone who is not content with the status quo and someone who will bring in New Leadership and Not Old Politics"


HOW CAN YOU HELP VOTERS IN A WAY IN A WAY THAT OTHERS RUNNING FOR THIS OFFICE CANNOT?


WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ACCOMPLISHING AFTER SERVING IN THIS OFFICE?


CAMPAIGN WEBSITE:  HartleyForSheriff.com | Facebook.com/Chris-Hartley-for-Nassau-County-Sheriff

Garland "Bubba" Rhoden

AGE:  38

FAMILY:  Married to Kelly Armstrong Rhoden for 20 years; 5 daughters with ages ranging from 23 to 11; had our first grandson 3 months ago

OCCUPATION:  Nassau County Sheriff's Office, K-9 narcotics detective

EDUCATION:  Graduated from West Nassau High School in 1992;  put myself through Lake City Law Enforcement Academy at night and on the weekends while working as a state of Florida certified building bontractor.

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE:  First time running for any political office

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN THIS RACE?

  1. "Restoring morale among the employees and gaining citizen confidence in the Sheriff's Office.
  2. "Reaching out to other agencies, in all areas of government, to bring about professional cooperation among all of these agencies.
  3. "Providing a command staff that adheres to complete accountability providing confidence within the agency and the Public."


HOW CAN YOU HELP VOTERS IN A WAY IN A WAY THAT OTHERS RUNNING FOR THIS OFFICE CANNOT?

WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ACCOMPLISHING AFTER SERVING IN THIS OFFICE?

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE:  www.Rhoden4Sheriff.com | Facebook.com/GarlandRhodenForNassauCountySheriff

Steve Whitley

AGE:  58

FAMILY:  Married to Carolyn; 4 sons (Mitch, Mike, Josh, and Matthew); 2 daughters (Holly Whitley Carroll and Tonya S. Sciandra); 10 grandchildren

OCCUPATION:  Retired deputy sheriff with 34 years law enforcement experience

EDUCATION:  1971 graduate of Paxon Sr. High School; U.S. Army Signal School;  Administrative School; Non-Commission Officers Leadership School; Army Management Course; Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Police Academy, FCCJ; criminal justice studies, South Florida; homicide investigation, Northeast Florida Criminal Justice Training Center; child homicide investigations, death investigations, evidence technician, hostage negotiation, field training officer, advance criminal law, kinesis (interviews and interrogations), University of North Florida International Police Training and Management Institute; homicide investigations, sects, cults and deviant movements, Santa Fe Community College; terrorism, New Mexico Tech; suicide and terrorist bombing, FBI; domestic terrorism for state and local law enforcement, Florida Department of Law Enforcement; Russian/European organized crime, questionable documents, Orange County Sheriff's Office; homicide crime scene, Nassau County Sheriff's Office; crisis intervention training, U.S. Customs Service; counterfeit coods, Miami-Dade Police Department; VIN verification (auto theft), State of Florida; civil process, hundreds of hours of additional training

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: None

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE TOP THREE ISSUES IN THIS RACE?

  1. Budget
  2. Public image of Sheriff's Office
  3. Employee retention

HOW CAN YOU HELP VOTERS IN A WAY THAT OTHERS IN THIS RACE CANNOT? 

WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR ACCOMPLISHING AFTER SERVING IN THIS OFFICE?

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE:  None | Facebook.com/pages/Steve-Whitley-For-Nassau-County-Sheriff-Florida