Harris County sheriff's race gets heated

Published On: Nov 02 2012 01:37:43 PM CDT
HOUSTON -

One of the races on the ballot this election is the one for the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

Harris County is the largest sheriff's office in Texas and the third-largest in the United States.

One-term incumbent Sheriff Adrian Garcia is running for re-election, but he is facing a big challenge from his opponent Louis Guthrie.

Garcia is a Democrat. Guthrie is a Republican.

Garcia is a former Houston police officer and Houston City Council member.  He said he has made the sheriff's office more accessible, more professional and no longer a drain of tax payer dollars.

"You got to remember, I walked into an organization with a $56 million deficit, but I also inherited a culture that lacked transparency and accountability," said Garcia.  

Guthrie is an ex-lieutenant from the sheriff's office and said he is better qualified.

"I've been in law enforcement 21 years. I have a degree in law enforcement administration. I have been a commander in two different organizations, including the Harris County Sheriffs Office," said Guthrie.

Guthrie said Garcia has not focused on the things that matter. He points to recent trouble at the jail, staff morale and the crime rate.

"We kept a lid on crime. We've driven down rapes and murders," said Garcia.

"Under the current sheriff, Harris County violent crime has risen almost 20 percent," said Guthrie.

There is a third candidate in the race.  Remington Alessi is running on the Green Party ticket. He has studied law enforcement and calls himself an activist and a cynic.