Johnson County Democrats Pick Sheriff Candidate


By Evie Allen
By Randy Livingston

VIENNA -- There's a new democratic candidate for sheriff in Johnson County. Party leaders have voted to place Norman Suits on the ballot.

He'll replace Jay Merchant, who died suddenly in late March just after he won the party's nomination in the primary.

"The more I thought about it the more I thought, well this is something I might be interested in doing," explains Suits.
Merchant died of a heart attack just a week after the primary election. Suits was his friend and had hoped to see Merchant wear the badge. He says he couldn't decide to run until he had spoken with Merchant's family.
"I explained to them what I wanted to do and I told them without their blessing it wouldn't happen."
Suits plans to carry the torch and do what Merchant had hoped to accomplish if elected, like cleaning up the meth problem in Johnson County. 
"Methamphetamine creates so much other crime in itself. You start getting into petty theft and break-ins and burglaries people and looking for a way to pay for these drugs," explains Suits.
Suits says he has a big love for Johnson County and the people in it. He admits he has a lot of work to do before the next election but says he's ready for the job.
"I'm looking forward to the campaign and getting out and meeting everyone and letting them know a little more about me and where I stand on things."
One idea he'd like to incorporate is giving deputies more chances to update their skills.
"I'd like to see more training and more specialized training for the officers."
He calls this a bitter sweet opportunity and hopes to make Merchant proud.     
"I think that he would have definitely wanted someone to finish this."
Suits is set to take on Republican Charles Harner in November. The winner will replace sheriff Elry Faulkner, who is retiring after 40 years.
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