Candidates vie for Oklahoma County Sheriff nomination

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OKLAHOMA COUNTY (KFOR) – The race for Oklahoma County Sheriff was vigorously contested by several candidates Tuesday night.

Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor had a sizable lead over fellow Republican candidates Mike McCully and Tommie Johnson III as results continued to come in Tuesday night.

But, ultimately, Taylor and Johnson will face off for the Republican nomination.

Cubit had a very strong lead over fellow Democratic candidate Virgil L. Green Sr.

Johnson began his Law Enforcement career with the University of Oklahoma Police Department. In 2015 he joined the Norman Police Department, where he is currently a Master Police Officer.

Taylor became Oklahoma County’s sheriff after winning a race for the office in September 2017.

The 2020 race for sheriff begins amidst new developments at the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s Office officials announced on Monday that the Sheriff’s Office moved out of the Oklahoma County Detention Center and that services are now available at the Krowse Building, located at 2101 N.E. 36th St.

Taylor had long pushed for the Oklahoma County Jail Trust to take over the Detention Center.

“Take over the jail. Do it. Take the responsibility and the liability no later than January 1st,” Taylor said on Oct. 24, 2019.

Oklahoma County Commissioners voted in May 2019 to create a jail trust to help identify problems at the jail and develop solutions. The trust was also designed to transparently dole out funding to maintain and staff the jail.

Taylor demanded that the trust take over the jail less than six months after the Jail Trust was formed. Taylor said at that time that the trust had not provided enough of a plan for current employees to feel safe, and that he did not feel confident that he could continue to run the jail safely.

Tension grew between the Sheriff’s Office and the Jail Trust. Taylor said the jail needs at least 600 employees for it to be operated correctly, but the Sheriff’s Office’s budget only accounted for two-thirds of that amount.

Taylor became Oklahoma County’s interim sheriff in early 2017 after Sheriff John Whetsel retired.

Cubit is a 21-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department and he has 24 years of combined law enforcement experience.

Cubit established OKCPD’s Family Awareness and Community Teamwork Unit (F.A.C.T.), a youth outreach program that focuses on mentorship, building character and empowering at-risk youth, according to a news release issued by his campaign in January.

“Growing up in Oklahoma City, I always knew I wanted to be a police officer,” Cubit said in the news release. “Law enforcement should be about helping people. That’s what I’ve focused on as a police officer and what I want to bring to the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office.”

The runoff election will be August 25.

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