The three candidates who are running for the Sebastian County sheriff position got a chance to voice their opinions on various issues Thursday.
The Sebastian County Republican Committee hosted a debate between the three candidates, who are all Republicans, in the Riverfront West Room at the Riverfront Park Event Building Thursday at 7 p.m. The candidates, including Jarrard Copeland, Randy McFadden and Hobe Runion, were asked a series of questions. The candidates had one minute to respond to each of them. The moderator and time-keeper for the debate was Gunner DeLay, chairman of the Sebastian County Republican Committee.
The candidates were asked how they would address the opioid addiction crisis in the community. Copeland responded by saying it is a major problem across the United States, one that cannot be ignored and seems to be getting worse by the day. It is also a problem that a sheriff, a doctor and a schoolteacher cannot fix alone, but Copeland said he believed if everybody could come together and work on some solutions, progress could be made.
Candidates were asked if they think more space is necessary at the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center, and, if so, what their plans for expansion were. They were also asked if they would support a tax increase for jail expansion. McFadden said there is a need for expansion at the facility, and the taxes would have to be raised at some point.
School safety was the focus of another question. DeLay asked if this is an issue in Sebastian County and, if so, how the candidates would address it. Runion said he believed the county could always be safer and it is naive to think that what has happened nationwide could not happen in the county.