Bell County Sheriff candidate greets voters
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 by Justin Cox
Democratic candidate for Bell County Sheriff Frank J. Hernandez held a small gathering with friends, family and supporters Saturday at the Santa Fe Depot in Temple Saturday where he promoted his candidacy and is getting the word out to be the next sheriff in Bell County.
Hernandez promoted change in his speech to his supporters, suggesting that he will work with the Bell County Commissioners Court to get more officers under the sheriff's jurisdiction.
"This is a local meet and greet for people of Bell County to meet me and get an idea of what I represent," Hernandez said. "I do have a website where people can get information, but this is to allow people to come and meet me and get more personal interaction. That way I can answer questions."
Hernandez is the lone Democrat on the ticket in Bell County, an area with extremely strong Republican support. He said that the main push for him will come after the Republicans duke it out in the primary later this month.
"I will be making my strongest push after May 29," Hernandez said. "After the primaries are over, I'll have several fundraisers coming up, but I'm focusing right now too because I'm interested in who my challenger is going to be."
Although Hernandez is looking to bring new ideas to the office, he said retiring Bell County Sheriff Dan Smith has done an excellent job.
"Sheriff Smith has done an outstanding job," Hernandez said. "He was my employer for several years and those are some tough shoes to fill, but with cooperation with the administration, jail administration and the Commissioner's Court that transition can be smooth. I'll bring my own people in obviously, but those people are good people, and I don't want to clean house when I get there."
Hernandez also said he wants to make sure to help keep the crime rate in Bell County down as much as possible.
"I want to be a working sheriff and get out there working side-by-side with my deputies to get things done," Hernandez said.
Hernandez, who works in Cardiology and is an EKG Assistant, spent 17 years as a member of the Bell County Sheriff's office.
Hernandez graduated from Temple College in Criminal Justice and went to work at the Bell County Sheriff's office, eventually becoming an investigator for the sheriff's department.
Hernandez is a life-long Bell County resident and has four children, who all have gone through or are currently going to school in the Belton Independent District.