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Hughes The First Sheriff To Run Unopposed

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 4384

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Feb 22 2014 11:22 AM

HOUSTON COUNTY:  It is hard to believe that Andy Hughes has been the Houston County Sheriff for two terms. Hughes is in his eighth year as Sheriff.


It was meant for Andy Hughes to be Sheriff.

First a black male qualified eight years ago as a Republican for Houston County Sheriff. Eddie Ingram qualified as a democrat.

At the time Hughes was a sergeant with Dothan Police Chief. Dothan Mayor Pat Thomas had as his selection probably the worst ever Police Chief in the history of Dothan, John Powell. Thomas, despite pleas from those who elected him, refused to replace Powell.

Ingram came within 12 votes of defeatIng the incumbent Sheriff of 12 years. Dothan Police Chief John Powell ( Pat Thomas' awful Police Chief ) intentionally skipped over Andy Hughes and refused to select him as a Lieutenant in Dothan Police Chief.

The republican candidate died. That left the local republican party with no one to challenge the incumbent on the republican ticket.

Hughes was seeing how Thomas was allowing the worst ever Dothan Police Chief destroy e Dothan. Police Department. Hughes was seeing problems and Thomas failure to stop the destruction. So Hughes decided he would attempt to get the republicans to appoint hi. To run for Sheriff. They did.

Then Thomas' failure for a police chief in Dothan pulled out the 'old Hatch Act. A ruling that said if you are paid from federal funds or manage someone who is paid with federal funds you can not run in a race in a partisan office. Hughes did not get paid with federal funds but as a supervisor he did manage some that did.

Hughes was then faced with a decision. All in or out to run for Sheriff. He quickly made a decision and resigned from Dothan Police Department.

Hughes campaigned full time. The voters elected him as Sheriff.

Hughes has brought the enforcement arm to the Sheriff Department. Hughes and his Chief Deputy, Donald Valenza, are frequently on huge streets of Houston County working. They are proactive. The men and women of the department has expressed that it makes you feel good to see the Sheriff or Chief Deputy pull up to back them up on a call. The men and women of the department will fight you for Sheriff Hughes or chief Valenza. 

Then this election. No one challenged Andy Hughes for a third term as Sheriff.


Eight years ago it was for the most part unheard of for someone of color not to run as a democrat. For the person to run as a Republican was unheard of. Then for him to die before the election. 

Then for Dothan. For the Mayor of Dothan, Pat Thomas, to care less about the men and women of the department, and the citizens and guests of Dothan, and allows the department to be destroyed. For Hughes to make the decision to seek the nomination and be selected. For Thomas' Police a Chief to not see Hughes talent and seek to force him not to run, but Hughes making the decision all of none. It was Hughes destiny to be Houston County Sheriff.


Dothan Police has changed. Pat Thomas became the former. Mayor of Dothan. Dothan Police a Chief  John Powell saw Mike Schmitz elected. Powell knew without Thomas as Mayor and Schmitz having a genuine love and passion for the City of Dothan he could not stay and finalize his destruction of the department. Powell left the Dothan Police Department but continues to live here.

While Powell did not see Hughes leadership qualities, the voters of Houston County did. Hughes will enter his third term in January, cruising into the election, unopposed.


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