GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Darryl Daniels wants to stay as the sheriff in town.
The incumbent Clay County Sheriff filed paperwork Wednesday afternoon with the Supervisor of Elections to be on the general election ballot.
The sheriff said he will stand by his accomplishments during the past three years, which included a drop in the total crime rate in two of his three years in office, along with plan to finish the job.
“I considered a lot of things,” Daniels told Clay Today. “One of the things I considered was, in light of everything’s that’s transpired over the past several years, from 2017, have we under this administration completed everything that we wanted completed in the community and the sheriff’s office? The answer to that is ‘no.’ Some would say ‘is there ever an ending to the things that you initiate in the sheriff’s office?’
“Of course. I’d love to say we get to a point where we can implement things and coast and watch them work. We’re not there yet. If I felt like we had the majority of our deliverables out there finished, then it would be easy to say my job’s done here. My job isn’t done here.
“With the momentum we have here in the sheriff’s office, especially out in the community with what we’re doing – on the narcotics front, I feel like we still have a lot of business that we need to take care of.”
Daniels knows he will face scrutiny over a current Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation that followed an admission of an affair while he was at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. He publicly apologized in August and has focused solely on his duties as sheriff since.
“The office of the sheriff, the seat that I sit in, it belongs to the people,” he said. “It’s a gift of trust from the people to the person who occupies the seat. I was fortunate and blessed that enough people thought to vote this guy in, and they trusted me enough to occupy the seat to keep them and their family safe.
“For the past three years, overall crime has gone down. The question that begs to be answered is: do you feel safer in Clay County now under this administration or do you not? If you feel like you are less-safer under the administration of Darryl Daniels, then vote for somebody else.”
Clay County had a 2.5% reduction in reported crime in 2016 compared to 2015 and a 9.6% drop in 2017, according to FDLE. There was a 5.9% increase a year ago, although violent offense arrests dropped 1.1%.
Daniels joins a field of candidates that already includes: Harold Rutledge, Ben Carson, Catherine Webb, Mike Taylor and Michelle Cook.
The general election is Nov. 3.