Six and counting.
That’s where the growing field of candidates stands in the race for a new Lenawee County Sheriff.
Rural Clayton resident Cletus Smith, a veteran of the sheriff department, made his announcement last week on the Republic ticket.
Smith, a lieutenant with the department, is a 31-year veteran of law enforcement who worked in Hudson and Morenci before joining the Lenawee County Sheriff Department in 1980.
He served as a road patrol deputy and as a narcotics agent before his reassignment to the detective bureau. As lieutenant, he oversees the detective bureau, records and courthouse security, and is responsible for the budgets of those departments.
Smith aims to take an innovative and pro-active approach to running the sheriff’s office while adhering to the budget.
“This sheriff’s race is not about me, it’s about the people of Lenawee County and their needs and concerns,” he said.
Smith says that he has worked under two good sheriffs—Jack Germond and Larry Richardson—and he will take the best qualities of both men and combine that with his own values, integrity and leadership.
“Under my leadership, the sheriff’s office will be pro-active in drug enforcement, investigations, traffic control, corrections, security and the safety and well-being of our citizens,” Smith said.
He and his wife, Wilma, are the parents of four grown children. He is active in Kiwanis, Relay for Life and Meals on Wheels program.
Smith joins John Birdwell and Jack Welsh in the Republican field. On the Democratic field, Larry Weeks, Thomas Popejoy and Al Navarro will face each other in the Aug. 5 primary.