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Here are the candidates in the running for the position of Jacksonville sheriff

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams announced his retirement in light of the controversy surrounding his out of county residency.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams announced his retirement in light of the controversy surrounding his residency. 

Sheriff Williams acknowledged in an interview with First Coast News that he moved to Nassau County, last year. The city charter, which essentially is Jacksonville's constitution, says the sheriff "shall reside in Duval County," and says if he moves out of the county, his seat becomes vacant.

In a statement released on Thursday morning, Sheriff Williams said he felt a court battle over his residency would "not be good for our community". He will retire on June 10th.

A special City Council meeting will be held on Monday to vote on a special election in August. Governor Ron DeSantis will appoint someone for the position in the interim.

Credit: First Coast News
Top row; right to left; Tony Cumming, Wayne Clark, Lakesha Burton, Bottom row; right to left; Ken Jefferson, Matt Nemeth, T.K. Waters

Potential candidates for the Jacksonville Sheriff position: 

Mathew Nemeth, Republican

Nemeth has said he wanted to be a police officer ever since he was a child. He began that career in 1987 after a school friend visited his Michigan home from Fort Lauderdale and showed him his badge. He became a 20-year-old Broward County corrections office before transferring five years later to the Pompano Beach Police Department. After five years there, he moved to Jacksonville and joined JSO in 1996.

Credit: First Coast News
Matthew Nemeth began his law enforcement career in 1987. He joined JSO in 1996.

T.K. Waters, Republican

Chief of Investigations T.K. Waters has devoted 30 years to law enforcement. Waters began his career as a corrections officer in 1991 before transferring to patrol in 1993. The son of a U.S. Army sergeant major, Waters moved where his father was stationed as he grew up, graduating from the Wurzburg-American High School in West Germany. He received his Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a minor in Homeland Security, from Virginia's Liberty University.

Credit: First Coast News
JSO Chief of Investigations T.K. Waters

Lakesha Burton, Democrat

Sheriff's Office Assistant Chief Lakesha Burton says that resilience will help her as the first Black woman to run for sheriff in Jacksonville. The 22-year department veteran has a master's degree in criminology from Florida Metropolitan University in 2004. The Sheriff's Office gave her its Six Pillars of Character Award for her traits of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. She was promoted to lieutenant in 2013, only the second Black police officer selected for that rank.

Credit: First Coast News
Lakesha burton is JSO Sheriff's Office Assistant Chief. She been at the department for 22 years.

Wayne Clark, Democrat

Wayne Clark is a lifelong Jacksonville resident who is completely invested in the success of all communities of Jacksonville. In 1980, at 18 years old, Wayne’s law enforcement career began as a volunteer police reserve officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Wayne worked in JSO Corrections, before becoming a police officer in 1983.

Credit: First Coast News
Wayne Clark is a lifelong Jacksonville resident who spent 30 years at JSO.

Tony Cummings, Democrat

Tony Cummings is a native of Jacksonville with 25-years of law enforcement experience, who has called the First Coast his home for over 40-years. Cummings earned his Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He also holds a graduate degree in Organizational Management and undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Criminal Justice

Credit: First Coast News
Tony Cummings is a native of Jacksonville with 25 years of law enforcement.

Ken Jefferson, Democrat

Ken Jefferson has served his community as a law enforcement officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) for 24 years. During his illustrious career, he experienced and was exposed to all aspects of the department. After being hired by JSO in 1986, Ken patrolled our streets vigorously, responding to calls for service from the public, building relationships with members of the community, and routinely implementing problem-solving methods to combat recurring crime trends.

Credit: First Coast News
Ken Jefferson has been with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office since 1986.

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