HOW HOUSTON COUNTY WENT FROM ANDY HUGHES AS SHERIFF TO DONALD VALENZA AS SHERIFFRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: May 29 2018 3:40 AM
HOW HOUSTON COUNTY WENT FROM
ANDY HUGHES AS SHERIFF TO DONALD VALENZA AS SHERIFF
Firstly, please understand that I am a "nobody". I do not come here today as a representative of anyone or anything...I come with my own reflection on the current race for the office of Sheriff of Houston County.
That being said....In July of 2004 I was honored to be serving as the chair of the Houston County Republican Executive Committee (HCREC).
HCREC was charged with the unenviable task of selecting a candidate to replace then Sheriff Andy Hughes on the November ballot due to Sheriff Hughes announcing his resignation after the date when candidates could have challenged him in the primary election.
The candidate we put forward would become the Sheriff for a four year term as there was no candidate from any other party.
HCREC heard from anyone wishing to be considered.
After each potential candidate was heard a secret ballot selected Donald Valenza to be the republican candidate and eventual Sheriff to serve a 4 year term. I had the task, and honor, of announcing that decision.
That night I placed a call to Governor Bentley requesting that then chief-deputy Valenza be appointed as the "interim" sheriff pending the November election and assumption of the office as the elected sheriff. Governor Bentley agreed and made the interim appointment.
And now, the rest of the story.... As the closing date for candidates to notify HCREC of their desire to be in the selection process I was somewhat curious as to why I had not heard from then Chief Deputy Valenza. It seemed natural that he would apply for consideration.
I contacted him to make sure he knew of the deadline to register. Donald told me that he was going to call me as soon as he talked with Sheriff Hughes and "got his blessing". Donald considered it disloyal to "go around the sheriff".
I told Sheriff Valenza and candidate Hughes I was going to stay out of the politics of the race, but I would at some point voice my support.
I will support Sheriff Donald Valenza as long as wants to serve as my sheriff based on his competent and professional service to Houston County and his beyond reproach ethical conduct.
Houston County Republican Executive Committee