Lange, Patterson set to face off in run-off election
Monday, 30 July 2012 by Matthew Girard
Bell County voters and residents will soon know who will run against Democratic candidate for the office of Bell County Sheriff Frank Hernandez Sr. as Republican candidates Bob Patterson and Eddy Lange face off in a Primary run-off election on July 31.
In the Primary election in May, Lange received 457 more votes than Patterson.
Despite a different of philosophy, both candidates expressed an importance on voter turnout for the run-off election.
"Our biggest effort with the campaign is to get the vote back out," Patterson said. "Run-off elections usually have an extremely low voter turnout, compared the primary results. It's imperative for the candidates to work their base and get their voters back out. I truly believe that this campaign is going to define the old adage that 'Every vote counts.'"
Although Lange didn't respond to interview requests from The Journal, Patterson said he wants to see more communication between law enforcement departments and citizens.
"I want to see a revitalization of putting deputies out in the rural parts of the county," Patterson said. "I want a higher visibility of patrol officers and I think we can do that by modifying some policies and practices that have taken place over the years.
"The deputies get to know who the community people are and they get to know who the deputies are. It fosters relationships, it builds coalitions and communication is the key."
Lange has recently backed off of earlier statements that the issuing of tickets could be an untapped source of revenue, Patterson said issuing more tickets won't be a good source of revenue, if any.
"There has been some talk about writing tickets as a source for revenue and that's just plain not going to work," Patterson said. "I don't believe that you can physically write enough tickets to generate any revenue of any amount."
Lange now says that increased patrols would benefit a criminal interdiciton program that could bring revenue from the seizures of guns, vehicles or cash.
Patterson said, if elected, the safety of citizens will be the No. 1 priority.
"The primary goal of the deputy sheriffs of Bell County is the rural patrol and protection of the citizens and their property," Patterson said. "That doesn't mean we aren't going to write tickets if we see you do something illegal, but we are not revenue agents. We are peace officers."
Early voting for the run-off election will be July 23-27.