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Two Candidates Vying For Benton County Sheriff

BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) -- The race to be the top law enforcement officer in Benton County is a familiar match up for voters.

Incumbent Shawn Holloway is once again facing off with Glenn Latham, a former sheriff's deputy, for the Republican nomination.  The winner would be the first sheriff elected to a four year term.

Holloway won in a primary runoff with Latham in 2016, before Latham pursued an Independent bid in the November election.

"I accomplished everything that I promised when I ran last time," said Holloway when asked why voters should choose him again for sheriff.

Upon coming in as Benton County Sheriff in 2017, Holloway faced an office plagued with scandals and poor morale.

He said things have changed under his leadership, including the relationship between the sheriff's office and the community.

"My focus has been more community oriented type policing," Holloway said. "Our motto there is community first, and we've had tons of community projects and outreach."

Holloway said he wanted to continue that community focus, from both deputies as well as inmate work programs.

During a candidate forum in Sulphur Springs Monday night (May 21), Latham was the only sheriff's candidate to show up.

Holloway said he was notified of the forum a week prior, and had already planned a campaign event during that time.

During the campaign, Latham has aimed much of his focus on rural Benton County.

He said deputies need to spend more of their patrol time outside of city limits, since they are the peacemakers for rural residents.

"We suffer by being the only law enforcement agency that serves the rural areas of the sheriff's office," Latham said of the sheriff's office. "If we don't have sheriff's deputies out [in the rural areas], then we don't have anyone else."

The winner of Tuesday's (May 22) primary will run unopposed in the general election this November, as no Democratic or third-party candidates filed for the office.