The Whitley County Sheriff’s race got a bit more crowded Monday morning adding a long-time Whitley County Sheriff’s deputy, who is now seeking the top job for himself to the mix, but the election field shrunk back down to three people late Tuesday afternoon after another candidate withdrew from the race.
Deputy Todd Shelley filed paperwork Monday seeking the Republican nomination for sheriff in a field that included incumbent Sheriff Colan Harrell, current Williamsburg Police Officer Mike Taylor, and former jailer Ken Mobley.
“It is something I have always wanted to do. I have prayed about it for years. I finally got peace about it so I went to file to run for it,” Shelley said.
“If it’s God’s will for me to win, I will win. If it’s God’s will for me to lose, I will go on because I am a winner either way.”
Late Tuesday afternoon, Mobley withdrew from the race, and announced his support of Shelley.
“I’ve known Todd Shelley a long, long time. I told him years ago that if he ever decided to run for sheriff, I wouldn’t run against him because I think he is a fine Christian boy and a fine law enforcement officer. I think he will make the best sheriff this county has ever had, and I just don’t want to run against somebody like that,” Mobley explained.
“I give my whole support to Todd Shelley. I think the people of this county deserve him. He will be a sheriff for the people of this county. He cares about this county, and he will be a real good sheriff.”
Shelley has worked in law enforcement for 17.5 years, and has spent his entire career at the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department.
“I feel like there are a lot of good things I could bring to the county. I want to work together as a team with all your local agencies from your constables to city police and Kentucky State Police,” he noted.
“Everybody needs to get on the same team. To me, if you put everybody together, you accomplish more. It is better getting everybody’s input, and doing things as a team. Use your resources with everybody out here. I think I have good working relationships with the city police and the state police. If elected, I am sure I can work with the constables.”
If he is elected, Shelley said he would like to see a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program started in the sheriff’s department for the school system.
“I’d like to get somebody in there teaching about drugs and start at a young age with kids,” Shelley said. “There are other things I would like to do.”
When asked why people should vote for him over his opponents, Shelley said that he has nothing bad to say about any of them.
“I’m a Christian. God comes first in my life. I am not saying anything bad about my opponents no way, no how,” he added.
Even though one of his opponents is his boss, Harrell, Shelley said he doesn’t anticipate any difficulties or friction between the two.
“I don’t have any problems with him. I have nothing bad to say about him,” Shelley added.