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Former state officer eyes run for sheriff


The Brunswick News

Neal Jump doesn't need a year to decide whether he will be a candidate for the office of Glynn County sheriff.

He's had his eye on the post since retiring from the Georgia State Patrol three years ago and says he plans to run for the office in 2012.

Sheriff Wayne Bennett announced in April that he will not seek a sixth four-year term of office.

Jump is hoping to fill the spot.

"I've always had aspirations of running for sheriff," said Jump, who now works for Bennett. "I've always respected Sheriff Bennett, and I would never have run against him, but now that he's announced he's retiring, I'm going to run."

After spending more than 30 years with the Georgia State Patrol and retiring as commander of the Brunswick post in May 2008, Jump immediately went to work for the Glynn County Sheriff's Office, where he is major of operations.

If elected, Jump would try to improve communications between the sheriff's office and the other law enforcement and court agencies in the area, he said.

He also wants to take care of jail staff and inmates.

"It all comes down to working for the people and serving the public," Jump said.

While Jump has made up his mind, others interested seeking the office have plenty of time to consider running. Qualifying for the primary election next summer doesn't start until May 2012.

The race is partisan, so candidates will have the choice of registering with a political party or running as an independent.

According to Georgia law, to be a candidate for sheriff, a person must be at least 25 years old and a resident of the county for at least two years before qualifying.

Candidates also must be a certified peace officer or become one within six months of being elected.

Jump, who moved to Glynn County in 1979 from Douglas, is originally from Eastman.

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