The race to win the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s seat may have become a bit easier for the agency’s Chief Deputy Bob Johnson.
Former longtime Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Hank Shirah, presently the Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police for Pensacola State College, told South Santa Rosa News yesterday that he is withdrawing from the race but chose not to make further comments.
Also, yesterday Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ted Roy announced via social media that he was suspending his campaign.
“After much thought and consideration I have decided to postpone my bid for Santa Rosa County Sheriff. However, I do not believe you have heard the last from me,” he said, adding, “With three children still in middle school and many other obligations, I found myself not able to put forth the effort to be a viable candidate.”
But Roy promises a return. “You can only raise your kids once, and the candidacy will still be there when I’m in a better position to serve the citizens of Santa Rosa County…I will be back!”
Roy was fourth in the field of five candidates vying to be Santa Rosa’s top cop, raising just $3,256.26. Shirah was fifth with $3,150.
Not only does Johnson have the coveted endorsement of retiring longtime Sheriff Wendell Hall, but he maintains a commanding lead over all the candidates, raising $32,580 — more than three times his closest competitor, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Robbie Way, who has amassed $10,275.80.
Chris Roper, a 36-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol who has unsuccessfully run for Santa Rosa County Sheriff before, has raised $4,455 so far.