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Shirley will be next Jefferson County sheriff

November 05, 2008

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Democrat Bobby Shirley soundly defeated Republican Jay Watson for Jefferson County Sheriff in Tuesday's election, pulling ahead of Watson by a nearly 4,000 vote spread in vote tabulations Tuesday night, according to complete, unofficial returns.

With all 31 precincts reporting, Shirley received 12,647 votes compared to the 8,653 votes going to Watson, according to returns.

Shirley, 57, of 567 Hidden Hollow Drive, Kearneysville and Watson, 54, of 505 S. Mildred St., Ranson, had different approaches in how to run the sheriff's department.

Shirley said he was concerned about continuous gang crime activity in the county and said he wanted more pressure on the problem before it manifests itself here.

Shirley was also sensitive to periodic crime problems on the Blue Ridge Mountain and wanted to more heavily staff a law enforcement substation on the mountain to beef-up a police presence there.

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The four-year term job pays $44,480 a year although the pay can increase up to another $15,000 depending on how much delinquent property taxes a sheriff can collect.

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