By Robin Pyle | AVALANCHE-JOURNAL
The new Lubbock County sheriff is already gearing up to fight for the position as two others announced they plan to run against him.
Don Carter, a sheriff's deputy, announced Monday evening that he planned to run against Sheriff Kelly Rowe in the Republican primary.
Ronnie O'Neal, who retired on Monday from the U.S. Marshals Service, and Rowe say they plan to formally announce today their intentions to run for sheriff.
All three men, who have law enforcement experience ranging from 16 to 35 years, applied for the position in August when Sheriff David Gutierrez announced his resignation.
Gutierrez, who served as sheriff for 11 years, left the position Sept. 12 to serve on the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Kevin Overstreet, the city's former animal services director, said he does not yet know if he will run for sheriff. He applied for the position in August.
"I'm undecided until next week," Overstreet said on Monday.
Formal filing for political office begins Thursday and runs until Jan. 4. Early voting for the March primaries begins Feb. 16.
Here's more about the candidates:
Don Carter, deputy, Lubbock County Sheriff's Office
• He has 23 years experience in law enforcement, having held positions in four departments, including police chief in Muleshoe, chief deputy in Bailey County and major of the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office law enforcement branch.
Gutierrez demoted Carter from major in July after Rowe recommended he do so for numerous reasons, including that Carter had trouble leading more than 100 employees. Carter previously told The Avalanche-Journal that the accusations were false or taken out of context.
• What sets him apart: "I believe, in my case, I have a well-rounded experience in law enforcement," he said. He added that he also has cultivated good relationships with other area agencies.
Ronnie O'Neal, retired supervisory deputy, U.S. Marshals Service, Northern District of Texas
• He has 35 years' experience in law enforcement, holding positions with five agencies, including a Border Patrol agent, a patrol supervisor with the Taylor County Sheriff's Department and detective and captain with the police department in Tuskegee, Ala.
• What sets him apart: "I've got a wealth of experience and training." He said he also knows the value of working together because no one department handle everything on its own.
Kelly Rowe, Lubbock County sheriff
• He has 16 years' experience in law enforcement, having held positions with two departments, including chief jail administrator, chief financial officer and captain of the law enforcement branch at the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office. He also served five years in the U.S. Army.
• What sets him apart: "It's primarily going to be experience, particularly with this office," he said. "I've seen all aspects of managing this office, from jail side, to law enforcement side to budget side, the new jail project from beginning to end."
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LUBBOCK COUNTY/Carter, O'Neal plan to challenge Rowe
First appeared on lubbockonline.com: 6:01 p.m. Monday.