Macon Co. Sheriff's Candidates Prepare for Runoff

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By Brittany Bivins

The primary elections are over, but in some races, a winner is not clear. That's true in Macon County, where there will be a runoff for the sheriff's office, after Tuesday's vote cut the field from seven candidates to two.

Andre Brunson will face off against Marcus Walker. Both candidates have backgrounds in law enforcement, and both say they will fight to get more deputies patrolling the streets.

Brunson, the chief of security of all county schools, has a degree in social work and criminal justice from Tuskegee University. He has spent 24 years as a law enforcement officer. Brunson also serves as a football coach at Tuskegee University, experiences he says make him "uniquely qualified" to hold the seat.

Sheriff's investigator Marcus Walker has worked for ten years in the sheriff's office. He's also a former VictoryLand police officer. Walker studied electrical engineering at Tuskegee University and has served on the county's drug task force. He says his experiences in law enforcement give him the tools to serve as sheriff.

Both Brunson and Walker say they have plans to combat crime in the area. Both want to increase the number of deputies patrolling the streets and add technology and social media to the sheriff's office. However, they have different ideas for other projects they think will make a difference in long-term crime.

"Building a sheriff's ranch, I want to offer vocational skills to our children," said Brunson. "Offer vocational skills such as automobiles, upholstery, because I believe if we offer our kids the opportunity to get vocational skills, it will better help them."

"I was part of the drug task force. Right now we currently don't have a full-time drug task force," said Walker. "I would like to see our drug task force come back and be full time, because you can't fight a full-time problem working on it part-time."

Crime isn't the only issue on the voters' minds, though. Many Macon County residents we spoke to say they want to know the candidates' positions on VictoryLand, the shuttered casino in Shorter.

"As far as the law that I have read, electronic bingo is legal here in our county, so I would like to see that facility reopened," said Walker.

"Economics bring about the crime and violence in here, so when VictoryLand died, the county kind of died. I know we need jobs for our children. We need jobs for our parents," said Brunson.

The runoff is set for July 15th. There are no Republicans slated to be on the November ballot.

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