The news of Democrat candidate for Sheriff Keith Escue dropping out of the race certainly caught many Grayson Countians by surprise, but Republican candidate Norman Chaffins was less surprised, and more impressed.
“Initially I was surprised, but I have talked with Keith over the last few days,” Chaffins said. “We’ve talked a little bit, it’s not that I was surprised by his announcement, I was more surprised and impressed by the way he did it.”
Chaffins recognizes the hardship a campaign can bring to a family. A campaign necessitates long hours and a commitment by the candidate, something Escue wasn’t ready to take on.
“He made the decision that he thought was best for his family, and it takes a lot of courage to do that,” Chaffins said. “What I liked most about the way he did it, was that I think he understands that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to run a campaign, and for him to drop out when he did; understanding that he wasn’t going to be able to put in that time for the people of Grayson County, (for that), I have a lot of respect for him.”
Even though his competition has dropped out of the race, Chaffins is determined to continue on with business as usual.
“My plans have not changed,” Chaffins emphatically stated. “We have several events coming up, a lot of fundraisers we’re going to be attending. The Grayson County fair, the Honey Fest, and the Caneyville fair as well. We’re actually looking forward to attending those and spending time and letting the public get to know me a little bit better. For those on the Democrat side, hopefully they’ll come by and see me and share some thoughts, and let me share some of my thoughts with them as well.”
Barring any last minute announcements by Independent candidates, Chaffins is now poised to take over the Sheriff’s Department in early January; something that has been a dream of his for many years.
“I’m very excited,” a smiling Chaffins said. “I’ll be even more excited when the August 12th deadline gets here; that’s the deadline for any Independent candidates that may want to file. One of the main reasons I’m excited is that Sheriff (Rick) Clemons has given me full access to anything at the Sheriff’s Department. He’s been fantastic. As a matter of fact, I’m meeting with him in the next few days.”
The transfer of power is not always a smooth one, but in this instance, Clemons has been helpful and accommodating to Chaffins.
“He’s assured me it’s going to be a smooth transition and I’m looking forward to that,” Chaffins said. “That makes it a whole lot easier on the incoming Sheriff for somebody to have access to what they’ve done. And hopefully I’m going to be able to build on what they’ve already built at the Sheriff’s Department.”