Candidate Profile: Young County sheriff race

Local News

YOUNG COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Those running for Young County sheriff are looking forward to the upcoming primary as early voting kicked off Tuesday.

For more than three years, Travis Babcock has been the sheriff of Young County after replacing Bryan Walls on Oct. 31, 2016. Walls decided not to run for re-election and resigned instead of finishing out his term two months later.

Babcock won the position during the Republican run-off in May 2016. He’s now running for re-election and said he likes the progress being made with DWI and drug arrests.

“[In] 2015, we had 77 total arrests and we had 13 drug arrests,” Babcock said. “This year, 2019, we had 237 arrests with 104 drug arrests.”

Charlie Parker has been in law enforcement since 2006 working for the Young County Sheriff’s Office, Jacksboro Police Department, Olney Police Department and then again for the Young County Sheriff’s Office before leaving in 2017.

Parker said from his experience working narcotics in Olney, he has a plan he feels is best to help the drug situation.

“Just throwing somebody in jail doesn’t help the situation,” Parker said. “They need help. So, to better help them, maybe they had an issue going on at home, maybe they have something they need help with, actually ask them instead of just throwing them in jail.”

Another challenger, Tim Bay, also ran in 2016 against Babcock. Bay’s law enforcement career started 25 years ago.

First, as a Wichita Falls police officer, then as a Young County sheriff’s deputy. He started in patrol and worked his way up to captain within the sheriff’s office. He then worked special crimes and was with the office for more than 20 years before retiring in 2018.

Bay also said he has a different approach to fixing the drug issue.

“I think way too often we have gone after the drug dealer instead of focusing on the everyday user,” Bay said. “The big thing goes let’s change things up. Let’s go after the everyday user and not have the drug dealer have anyone to sell to.”

When the Republican primary comes in two weeks, all of these candidates hope to have your support and your vote.

Early voting goes until Feb. 28, 2020. Because no Democrats are running, the primary will decide who is the new sheriff.

Voting opens at 7 a.m. and goes until 7 p.m. For voting locations, click here.

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