And then there were 4: Waters files to run for Jacksonville sheriff

‘I have devoted my professional life to improving this city,’ JSO’s chief of investigations says

File photo of JSO Chief of Investigations T.K. Waters

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – The field for the Jacksonville sheriff’s race just got a little bit more crowded.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Chief of Investigations T.K. Waters has filed to run for the agency’s top office when Sheriff Mike Williams terms out in 2023, Waters announced Monday.

“I am running to be the next Jacksonville Sheriff because I have devoted my professional life to improving this city and serving the people who call it home. I want to build on the successful initiatives our office is currently pursuing and enhance our commitment to a service and partnership mentality with the community,” Waters said in a statement.

Waters, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Liberty University, has been with JSO since 1991. After getting his start as a corrections officer, he moved to patrol and rose to the rank of sergeant before joining Sheriff Williams’ command staff. As investigations chief, he oversees operations for a wide range of areas, from homicide to special assault.

Waters will be running against fellow Republican Mathew Nemeth and two Democrats, including JSO Asst. Chief Lakesha Burton and former Duval County School Police Asst. Chief Wayne Clark, who retired from JSO as chief of patrol.

“As your next Sheriff, I am committed to service, driven by my diverse experience in the agency and will strive to deliver the excellence in law enforcement that our community deserves,” Waters said in part. “Together, we can continue to make Jacksonville an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”

Burton, who has more than 20 years’ experience with JSO, announced in April she was running to succeed Williams. Burton is the second African American woman to reach the rank of police lieutenant and the fourth to be selected as assistant chief in Duval County.

After recently retiring from his leadership role with the Duval County School Police, Clark announced his candidacy in July. He said he’s bringing four decades of law enforcement experience to the race and is vowing to protect Jacksonville residents’ civil rights.

Nemeth, JSO’s chief of special events who has more than 33 years of experience working in law enforcement, announced he was running for sheriff earlier this month, according to our news partner WJCT.

Williams, who’s serving his second term, cannot run again in the next election, which will take place in early 2023.