Sheriff Greg Taylor is endorsing a new candidate in the 2020 sheriff's race.
Taylor told the Herald-Press Friday he now backs Rudy Flores for sheriff.
In January, Taylor, 56, announced he would not seek re-election and retire at the end of his fourth consecutive term in December 2020. He had endorsed his patrol captain, Ginger Lively.
Lively did not make an official statement at the time; Taylor, however, said she planned to run.
Lively told the Herald-Press Friday, she would not seek the sheriff's job in 2020. Two candidates remain in the race: Texas Ranger Rudy Flores, 55, and Jeff Taylor, 56.
Flores announced his bid for sheriff last October, two weeks before Jeff Taylor announced his candidacy.
When asked how she viewed the two candidates, Lively said, “If you ask me who appears to be the better suited candidate for the position of sheriff, between Rudy Flores and Jeff Taylor, I would say it’s Rudy Flores.”
Asked if she would continue to work for the sheriff’s office, Lively said, “Would I work for Rudy Flores, if he chose to have me in this position, I would say, ‘yes,’ but only the good Lord knows what I’ll be doing in January 2021.
“My main intentions are to continue to work with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office in service and protection of our community and the justice system.”
Taylor said he now plans to help Flores get elected.
“I have met with Rudy Flores, and he knows that Ginger is not running,” Taylor said. “He knows that if she was still running, I would back her 1,000 percent. Now, however, he has my support. Between Rudy Flores and Jeff Taylor, Rudy is head and shoulders above Jeff Taylor.”
Taylor said Flores and Lively are both qualified for the sheriff's job, but Jeff Taylor, he said, who used to work for him, is not.
“He was not an exemplary employee,” Greg Taylor said.
Sheriff Taylor also stressed that, although he and Jeff Taylor have the same surname, they are not related.
Taylor said the chief issues for the sheriff's office remain the budget, staffing, and drugs, especially the opioid crisis.