By Jackie Hampton,
The Hinds County race for sheriff has begun and several candidates are trying to get an opportunity to fill the big footprints of former sheriff, Lee Dan Vance Jr. who passed away suddenly August 3, 2021 from complications due to COVID-19.
The legacy of Sheriff Vance makes it a difficult task because he was so lovd and respected by many.
There will be a special election Nov. 2. The winner of that election will serve the rest of Vance’s term, which expires in January of 2024.
Those having announced their candidacy for the office are not listed in any respective order and each believes he can move the Hinds County Sheriff’s office forward.
Marshand Crisler announced on the steps of the Hinds County Court house Wednesday morning that he wants to keep the job of which he is serving as interim sheriff. He said he stands in the shadow of a giant, his predecessor and role model, Sheriff Lee Vance and is a product of the legacy of his friend and mentor, the late great Sheriff Malcolm E. McMillin.
Crisler has garnered some big endorsements that can help him in the “Big Foot Challenge.’ His campaign manager is Rev. Dwayne Pickett, pastor of New Jeruselum Church and standing beside him at the press conference were two more pastors, Bishop Ronnie Crudup Sr. pastor of New Horizon Church and Pastor Gregory Divinity Sr. of New Vineyard Church.
Crisler is a retired major in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served as Ward 6 city councilman for eight years in the City of Jackson. He also served as a narcotics investigator in the Hinds County Sheriff’s office for 12 years and was appointed to serve as interim sheriff by the Hinds County Board of Supervisors. Crisler has also served as police chief of Utica, MS.
Officer Eric Wall has launched his campaign to fill the shoes of Lee Vance Jr., who until his untimely death was his boss. He made his announcement at the Hinds County Court House. Wall is a 35-year career professional law enforcement officer, having retired from the Jackson Police Department, where he was deputy chief of police operations.
Wall is a United States Army Reserve honorable discharge d veteran. He is currently the chief deputy over operations for the Hinds County Sheriff’s office.
Wall is described as one of the most highly decorated police officers in recent JPD history. He has the endorsement of some big name influencers one in particular being Jackson City Councilman Kenneth I. Stokes of Ward 3. This endorsement along with his law enforcement credentials, make him a viable candidate for the ‘Big Foot’ Challenge.
Hinds County District 4 Constable Leon Seals announced his candidacy for Hinds County Sheriff Tuesday, August 17, 2021.
Seals is the first person to publicly speak about his intention to take part in the Nov. 2 special election.
“I’m running because I can do the job, but better than that, I’ve been trained to do the job,” says Seals.
Seals, a New Orleans native, attended Jackson State University, is a 2000 graduate of the FBI National Academy and was a defensive end for the school’s football team. He played the same position after joining the Buffalo Bills following the 1987 NFL Draft and made two Super Bowl appearances before retiring from the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992.
Seals served as a deputy with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office beginning in 1995 and achieved the rank of captain. He was elected constable in 2015, ousting then-incumbent Jon Lewis. Seals is currently serving his second term as constable after running unopposed in the 2019 Hinds County general election. He is a ‘Big Footprint Challenger.”
Tyree Jones announced his candidacy for Hinds County Sheriff Wednesday at the Virgie P. Middleton Community Center on flag Chapel Road in Jackson. He is considered a viable candidate to take the “Big Footprint” challenge as a seasoned and experienced law enforcement administrator.
Jones leads the criminal investigation unit of the Hinds County Sheriff’s office. This unit is responsible for completing assigned task work as well as preparing cases for the Hinds County Grand Jury.
He has received the endorsement of former Sheriff Lee Vance’s family. They stood with him at the press conference along with his pastor, Rev. Reginald Buckley of Cade Chapel Baptist Church, State Representative Chris Bell, Dist. 65 and former Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis.
Jones worked for the Jackson Police Department for twenty years and with all credentials and endorsements, he is a viable candidate for the “Big Footprint” challenge.
Reginald Thompson of Byram has announced his candidacy for Hinds County Sherriff. He brings to the table 41 years of law enforcement experience which began in Bolton, MS from 1985-1992 until he was brought on board by former Hinds County Sherriff Malcolm McMillan, where he served as a sergeant until 2013. While there he worked in the K-9, Warren’s Division.
Thompson retired in 2018 from the MS Army National Guard after serving 28 years as a master sergeant. He is currently serving as assistant chief of Bolton Police Department.
As a “Big Footprint Challenger” to the Sherriff’s race, he plans to increase deputy patrol visibility, develop a management system to reduce response times, and to collaborate with other law enforcement agencies to target and reduce crimes in high crime areas.
(This article will be updated, as others enter the Big Foot Challenge.)