Gay wins Republican primary in Harvey County sheriff race

Continues as SRO for first semester, Adkins to fill position if elected

Morgan Barnes

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School Resource Officer Chad Gay won the Republican primary election for Harvey County sheriff that took place on Aug. 2, receiving 62.4 percent of votes. His competitors Bruce Jolliff and Ted Brunner received 30.4 and 7.2 percent of votes respectively.

“I guess it went as planned. I won and I was hoping I would win. But, I didn’t really expect to put it on him like that and I didn’t expect to win by that many votes. I’m glad I did. Really, I didn’t know what to expect,” Gay said.

Gay feels that it was his connection to students and the community that set him apart from his competitors in the Republican primary.

“Well for me, what I think is helpful is that I grew up in the area. I lived all my life here. I have been a police officer for 22 years, and so I have gotten to know a lot of people. I think even bigger than that is that I’ve been at Newton High School for the last 15 years,” Gay said. “You figure how many youngsters that I’ve come into contact with. At the high school last year, there were 1100 students out there, and they all have parents, and they all have grandparents and aunts and uncles. I’ve treated people well and they treat me well. So that has a big influence on why I did well in this election.”

Gay also feels that his relationships and connection to people will serve him well in the general election that takes place in November.

“I mean, that is certainly one thing that sets me apart from everybody else, my ability to build relationships and relate to people. It’s what I do and it’s what I have done for a long time. Now, I will be in this thing against the Democrat, Bryan Hall. So I will run against him, and that’s one of the things that certainly sets me apart from him.”

If Gay would be elected sheriff, he has a number of priorities that he would like to address from the start. One of his top priorities is dealing with the drug issue in our county.

“I want to start a countywide drug task force- A Harvey County drug task force. That would include anybody in the county that wanted to be involved, any law enforcement agency in the county. Newton and the county work really close together anyway, and so that would just be something I would want to give Newton guys more ability to roam the county and have a canine,” Gay said.

Gay also has other concerns that he feels are just as important. These concerns include the aging jail, as well as the pay that the deputies are receiving.

“The problem that we are having is not that the pay is horrible, I mean it is kind of horrible, but it’s more that everybody around us is paying more. Why would I be a Harvey County deputy when I could go to the Newton Police Department and make like two to three dollars per hour more to start? I don’t know the exact starting wages but I know that, basically, it’s like $15 an hour to like $18 an hour,” Gay said.

Even though Gay is focused on the current sheriff race, he is still committed to his position as school resource officer. If he is not elected, he plans to return to his position as school resource officer until he retires.

“I will be in Newton High School from the start of school until the first semester, no matter what happens. If I get elected, the first couple of weeks in January would be when I would take over the office. That would get me through the first semester,” Gay said. “Then I think it looks like Jon Adkins is going to be the next guy. He would be the guy that would come in after me. He would be very good for that position. He is really good with people, kind of like me. He is very much like me.”

If he becomes the next resource officer, Adkins looks forward to creating bonds with students to effectively assist with school safety.
“I would say that it is exciting to be in a centrally located area where everyone that I need to protect is minutes away from me. Building relationships is the short answer to (what I am most excited about). Letting kids come to me when they have to talk about something,” Adkins said.