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Morgan Cruises To Win In Sheriff's Race


Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan is a step closer to a third term, winning the Republican primary Tuesday night. 

In unofficial returns. Morgan took 61 percent of the vote over three candidates, including former sheriff Ron McNesby, who Morgan beat in the 2008 GOP primary. But strategically, Morgan says his third campaign was actually easier than his first two.

“I have a community now that we’ve worked with, we’re coming on eight years so they know me and they know my process that I go through,” said Morgan. “You never take anything for granted and take the extra time and effort to make sure the community understands who you are and your vision.”

An incumbent, says Morgan, must run on his or her record. 

“That is how your community evaluates you every four years,” Morgan says. “The election is your report card. Are they happy with what you’ve done? And if the majority of the people say yes, then they retain you. If not, then they try someone else.”

Morgan praises the men and women in the ECSO, saying their status in the community has been upgraded through training, education and leadership courses. Another plus has been drops in the juvenile and violent crime rates.

“I took office in 2009. Up until this year, violent crime had dropped twenty-one-and-a-half percent,” said Morgan. “And then the midyear crime stats were published, and we brought that down another 15 percent. We’re making tremendous strides in law enforcement.”

Another highlight, says the Sheriff, has been the growth of the neighborhood watch programs, from 13 to 150 so far this year.   

David Morgan faces two candidates in the November 8 general election, No-Party Affiliate Rex Blackburn and write-in James Brooks. Morgan’s strategy the next two months is the same as it was during primary season.

“You campaign like you’re 20 points behind,” Morgan says. “You never take anything for granted, you make sure your vision and your message stays at the forefront of the community.”

Next door in Santa Rosa County, Republican Bob Johnson won 57 percent of the vote over two other candidates, to succeed the retiring Sheriff Wendell Hall. In Okaloosa, incumbent Larry Ashley was a big winner with 77 percent of the vote.