CLAY COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - After serving Clay County for the last seven years Sherifff Kenny Lemons hopes to be elected to a third four year term. Sheriff Lemons are running against Jeff Lyde but believes that if elected he could continue to keep Clay County a safe place to live.
Born in Thornberry, Sheriff Lemmons grew up in Clay County and graduated from the Petrolia High School before earning his degree at the nearby Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls. Today Sheriff Lemons and his wife Tami Lemons live out in Dean where they spend most of their free time with family who still live close by in Clay County.
"I have raised my family, my grand-kids are being raised here and this is our home, we have deep roots here," said Sheriff Lemons.
Around 1990 Sheriff Lemons began what has grown to be 26 years of continual service in Law Enforcement. After serving in the neighboring Wichita County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Lemons earned his first Clay County service stripes as a Deputy.
"I spent 15 1/2 years right here I worked my way up from a County Deputy to eventually becoming elected Sheriff," said Sheriff Lemons.
While Sheriff Lemons lost his first run for Sherif in 2004 since winning in 2008 Lemons has been successful at cutting both crime and cost. In the last 7 years Sheriff Lemons said the felony rate for the county has gone down by 71%, while at the same time helping CCSO save upwards of $600,000 in budgetary cost.
"For the last 7 years, it is a total of $661,000 that is real tax dollars returned to the general fund," said Sheriff Lemons.
The bulk of the savings come from managing the jail. The inmates cost for the CCSO is $20 below the state average.
"That is attributed to two things I believe, and that's one a successful quick prosecution, and watching the sales. I do a lot of the shopping for the Sheriffs office," said Sheriff Lemons.
Both Sheriff Lemons and his opponent Jeff Lyde share a deep respect for each other. That is why they promised to keep their campaigns about policy not personal issues. Sheriff Lemons said no matter what Clay County voters decide he will respect their vote.
"I promised to do as good a job as I could and still be fiscally responsible," said Sheriff Lemons.