The list of candidates has grown to 16 individuals as of last week. They range from retired and practicing law enforcers and business owners to Victoria's Secret sales associates. Jefferson County Commissioners say they've chosen and interviewed at least one of their top three candidates; now Commissioners are working to choose the final three.
In order to replace Sheriff Shirley, a candidate must live in Jefferson County and be a registered Democrat. So in his cover letter to apply, Earl Ballenger writes: "If changing political parties is the game that must be played, so let it be done."
During the close General Election between former Republican Earl Ballenger and Democrat Bob Shirley, the people chose the Democrat: meaning the new Sheriff must be a Democrat.
"We're trying to be as transparent as we can possibly be, and as far as we can possibly be," says Dale Manuel, Jefferson County Commissioner.
Manuel says other Commissioners want a candidate with strong law enforcement background, but he's focused on people skills.
"My top candidate is a person who's a people person, who has strong background with human resources and management," says Manuel.
The new Sheriff assumes many duties, from County Treasurer to law enforcement manager, but no matter who is voted in, Commissioners say they're voting from a talented bunch.
On March 5, 2013, Jefferson County Commissioners will interview their top three candidates and potentially vote on a new Sheriff that day. The public is invited to attend and listen in.