Two candidates up for sheriff

Published 9:45 pm Saturday, October 31, 2009

While the statewide races for governor and lieutenant governor may have grabbed the biggest headlines, Suffolk voters have a big local races to weigh in on.

Tuesday voters will go to the polls to choose who their sheriff will be for the next four years, and will also find three other constitutional officers on the ballot.

Incumbent sheriff Raleigh H. Isaacs Sr. is facing off against challenger Jay Clason.

Clason owns a travel agency with his wife, and was a former Christian school principal at schools across the country. He bases his qualifications for the position on his military experience, however — he spent 37 years as an Army reservist, being called up numerous times and shipped off to 37 countries and 48 states as part of his duties. He helped rebuild Bosnia after years of war, and stressed inter-agency communication to law enforcement departments around the world.

Isaacs is a 16-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, with a total of 48 years in law enforcement — most of it with the Nansemond County and Suffolk police departments. He also has served as president of the Virginia Sheriff’s Association and as state president of V.A.L.E.C.O. (Virginia Association of Locally Elected Constitutional Officers).

Besides the sheriff’s office, voters will find three uncontested constitutional officers on the ballot. Commissioner of the Revenue Thomas Hazelwood, Treasurer Ron Williams and Commonwealth’s Attorney C. Philips Ferguson are up for re-election to their positions.

A fifth constitutional officer, Clerk of Circuit Court Randy Carter, comes up for election at another time.