The Woodward News

Local News

June 23, 2012

Candidates share views during forum

Woodward, Okla. — Thursday night the Woodward County Republican Women held a primary forum introducing all the Republican candidates up for election in Tuesday's primary.

The biggest local race this year is for Woodward County sheriff, for which there are 2 Republican candidates, current Sheriff Gary Stanley and former sheriff Les Morton.  Republican voters will decide in Tuesday's primary whether Stanley or Morton will face off with the Democrat's choice between Democratic candidates Joe Adams and Monte Martin.

Since Tuesday's election is only a primary, the Republican Women's group only invited the Republican candidates to speak at Thursday's forum.  Both Democratic candidates were in attendance though, with both Martin and Adams saying they were interested in hearing what their Republican counterparts and potential opponents had to say.

SHERIFF CANDIDATES INTRODUCE THEMSELVES

The candidates were allowed to introduce themselves, share their qualifications and briefly describe what their main goals for the office were before the forum was opened up to the audience for questions.

In his self-introduction, Stanley focused on all of the improvements that has gone on at the sheriff's department and county jail since he took office in 2008.

Stanley has been in law enforcement since 1973, when he started out in the Woodward Police Department. He then spent a short amount of time in the oilfield before going back to law enforcement. He spent a year as an Oklahoma City police officer, then came back to be a deputy for the Woodward County Sheriff's Department.  While at the sheriff's department he served 3 1/2 years of that time as undersheriff.  Stanley then spent 10 years with the district attorney's office before running for sheriff in 2008.

Stanley said he considers the main duties of the sheriff to be maintaining the jail, keeping the civil process and providing courthouse security.

Stanley said, "When I became sheriff, the jail was overcrowded, so we got a new sales tax and started work on a new jail."

When the jail was finally completed last fall and the inmates moved over, he said, "It was nice to have room for all of them."

But the inmates didn't find it as "homey," he said.  That's because "the new jail is open and has a lot more cameras and security in it. This allows our guards to keep a better eye on the inmates and reduces the  fights in the jail," Stanley said.

The sheriff also filled the group in on how he has helped build the department through equipment purchases.

"We got a new Tahoe and converted it to CNG which saves us $2 per gallon and will allow us to have the Tahoe paid off sooner," Stanley said.

In addition, he said, "We have gotten 5 new in-car cameras for the patrol cars."  He said these cameras not only allow us to see if an officer is being unprofessional, but can also be used as evidence for when the officer is not in the car and the suspects in the back seat start talking.

Once Stanley finished, Morton took the floor.

Morton has been in law enforcement since 1975 when he started as an officer in Kiowa, Kan.  Then he was hired by Woodward Police Department in the early 1980's and worked there for 21 years until he retired at the rank of lieutenant.  He then ran for sheriff and was elected in 1997 and was sheriff for 12 years until being defeated by Stanley in 2008.

Since then he has served as a reserve deputy for Harper county and currently works at William S. Key in Fort Supply.

"One of my biggest pet peeves that I have faced as sheriff and a police officer has been the war on drugs," especially when it came to methamphetamine, Morton said.

"As sheriff we took down many meth labs in the county and it was a big deal to me then and still is," he said, noting the battle against drugs is ongoing.

"Rural theft is the other thing that I take personally," Morton said, noting, "It ticked me off when any type of theft took place in Woodward county, because it is my job to keep my people safe and to make sure this stuff didn't happen."

Other issues that Morton feels needs more attention are child abuse and molestation and crimes against the elderly.

"I'm a firm believer in standing up for the people of Woodward County, I want everyone to be protected," Morton said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Board hears updates

    Woodward School Board members honored a group of Woodward FFA students for their service to the community during the board's monthly meeting Monday night.

    April 16, 2014

  • Red Cross sets open house Thursday

    Northwest Chapter of the American Red Cross is holding an open house at its Woodward office, 1209 9th St.

    April 16, 2014

  • Commission hears communications presentation

    Woodward County Commissioners heard an informative report from Pioneer Telephone Special Projects and Engineering Manager JR Ools regarding new and emerging communications technologies being made available in the region.

    April 15, 2014

  • Extension Service important to state

    Recia Garcia remembers.
    She remembers how the lives of those she met through 4-H and through her work as a 30-year veteran with the OSU Extension Service changed her in ways she still sees today.

    April 15, 2014

  • Legislation targeting Okla. judiciary stirs debate

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — For the first time since a bribery scandal rocked Oklahoma's Supreme Court 50 years ago, state lawmakers are considering tinkering with the way Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges are selected.

    April 13, 2014

  • Filing period brings some area races

    There will be a few races on the June 24 primary ballot and the November general election ballot in Northwest Oklahoma counties.
    The three-day filing period ended on Friday.

    April 13, 2014

  • walkerweb.jpg Walker promoted to Captain

    Stan Walker's father Samuel Walker was an Oklahoma Highway Patrol Officer from 1942 to 1946 before taking on another career in energy where he spent the rest of his working days in Northwest Oklahoma.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Reports, hires on agenda

    Woodward Board of Education members will take up a number of routine items as well as hire some teachers for the early childhood center at their meeting on Monday.

    April 13, 2014

  • Area school calendars

    School calendars April 14-19

    April 13, 2014

  • Red Cross recognizes local volunteer

    When Karen Daily, Red Cross volunteer and owner of Western Medical & Drug, gets up in the morning, it is with the purpose and understanding that she may need to offer some of her time to her community.

    April 13, 2014