St. John's County Sheriff Deputy Running For Baker County Sheriff Responds To Criticism | News

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St. John's County Sheriff Deputy Running For Baker County Sheriff Responds To Criticism

ST. JOHN'S CO., Fla. -- It's 78 miles from the St. John's County Sheriff's Office in St. Augustine to the Baker County Sheriff's Office in MacClenny.

But Cameron Coward said he's willing to go the distance.

"Like my Daddy said, 'If you're going to get in it, get in it. If you're going to get out, don't bother,'" he said.  

St John's County Sheriff's Deputy Cameron Coward said he has wanted to run for Baker County Sheriff for five years.

And at 28 years old, he thinks now is the right time.

"I have Steve Jobs who started Apple at 20, Bill Gates who started Microsoft at 19," he said.

He registered to run for the office in March of last year, but just recently took some heat for posts about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman on his Facebook profile.

"I'm not going to say what I think people are going to like. I'm going to say what I think is right," he said.  

Many of the posts question the way the story was covered in the media.

Another puts himself in George Zimmerman's shoes. It reads in part: "When I approach him to see what he is doing, and he attacks me, I don't care what color he is: white, red, black, yellow, or green. He gets what he gets."

"You have to mind your Ps and Qs, especially running for public office. So it's something that I'll look at in the future and say maybe I shouldn't post that picture, or maybe I shouldn't say that because it gets out," he said.

Though he took that post down, he didn't shy away from responding to people who disagreed with his take on the situation.

"Their ignorance was mind-boggling, and I let 'em know it," he said.

Despite the push back, Coward said he loves working in law enforcement, and wants to lead from his hometown.

"It's 40 minutes from driveway to driveway, and 40 minutes from driveway to zone," he said.

Coward made sure to meet the residency requirements in both places. He rents a house in St. John's County, and owns property in Baker.

He said he made sure to research the law to the letter before he decided to run.

"I'm not afraid of failure, but I'm afraid of being unprepared," he said.

Current Sheriff Joey Dobson is running for reelection. He was reelected in 2008 with more than 80% of the vote.

Republican Gregory Bohannon and Independent Timothy Smith are also running for the post.


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