Lots of talk in the county along with several days of social media postings on the dismissal of court bailiff Jimmy Howery on the day a letter by him endorsing county sheriff candidate Doug Weddle appeared in The Floyd Press.
This brought commentary pro and con on Facebook groups that focus on Floyd along with Twitter tweaks and comments on Google Plus. Some suggested the dismissal was a questionable act over his right to express his opinion. Others said more might be involved.
As a county employee, Howery’s departure from the Sheriff’s Department is a personnel matter covered by Virginia law that prohibits disclosure of reasons. He was a popular deputy in working with courts and also volunteered many hours in mowing county cemeteries and helping residents.
Three-term Sheriff Shannon is retiring at the end of 2015 after 27 years on the department. Brian Craig, an 18-year veteran with the department and currently the school resource officer after serving in various positions, including investigator, is running for the job. He served in the Army before joining the sheriff’s department.
Weddle was a Floyd County sheriff’s department employee for four years and worked briefly for the Virginia State Police before joining the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department in 1993, and then went to the Christiansburg Police Department five years later. Weddle lists no military service on his resume.
Craig and Weddle square off in the GOP primary on May 16th. Voting hours are from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the county’s regular polling place. Early voting is available at the Jesse Peterman Library on Saturday, May 9th from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on the same hours on Thursday, May 14th.
In Republican-dominated Floyd County, the GOP Primary is considered the election for most positions. Laura Amanda Reinhard Sparks has posted on Facebook that she is running for sheriff as an independent. She ran against Zemen four years ago but lost.