Incumbent Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels has officially thrown his trademark cowboy hat into the re-election ring, swelling the field running for the top cop to six.
His entry into the crowded ballot comes after a year where he became embroiled in controversy over issues with a longtime mistress and a follow-up state investigation.
Daniels filed his official “Statement of Candidate” on Wednesday. He joins former Atlantic Beach Police Chief Michelle Cook, who filed last week, as well as retired emergency management specialist Ben Carroll, former Clay County Commissioner Harold Rutledge, former FDLE agent Mike Taylor and retired Navy chief Catherine Webb. All six are Republicans, according to Clay County Supervisor of Elections records.
Daniels is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. He also faced public ridicule last year over an encounter with a longtime mistress who was detained by deputies for six hours but not charged with a crime. In August, Daniels publicly apologized for the “embarrassment” the public scandal and his affair caused.
Active candidate records show Daniels and Cook, as the newest to file, have no campaign funds so far, while the others’ fundraising ranges from $3,150 so far for Webb up to $46,080 for Carroll.
Clay County primary elections take place on Aug. 18.