Runoff election today for Tarrant County sheriff

- The race for Tarrant County Sheriff has been hard fought --- and a little bizarre.         

Tuesday is the runoff between incumbent Sheriff Dee Anderson and a former police chief, Bill Waybourn, and it's seen its fair share of bizarre political moments.

Sheriff Anderson tallied 13,000 more votes in the March first primary than Waybourn but failed to top 50 percent, forcing a runoff with the longtime police chief of the small city of Dalworthington Gardens

"I don't think this will be about name recognition at all,” said Waybourn. “I think this will be about vision."

Waybourn's campaign has raised three times the money and attracted celebrity endorsements like actor Chuck Norris, former Governor Rick Perry and American Sniper Chris Kyle's widow, Taya.

Anderson says Fort Worth's mayor and county judge are making calls for him. He points out the local newspapers have given strong endorsements and claims Waybourn has lied about him in a series of mailings.

"He's certainly followed his pattern of trying to do damage with negative stuff and not really have any regard for the truth,” said Anderson.

Anderson says one mailing that claimed problems at the jail backfired.

“We have people from all over the country come look at that jail, admire it, want to build one just like it,” said Anderson. “And to say we wasted money on it, that it was not usable, all the things he just made up. There was no basis for fact on it."

"The jail is not working in my opinion and in my research,” said Wayourn. “Now have I physically gone in there? No. But this is what 20 people have told me in different parts of the jail system."

What both agree upon is a difference in vision. The sheriff sees his job as management.

"Very much like the CEO of a big corporation,” Anderson said. “He sees it as wearing a costume, wearing a big hat, being out front talking about crime and fast cars and tanks and things. We had two sheriffs that ran this department like that for the 16 years before I got here and almost ran it into the ground.

"I'm more about relationships and he's more about isolationist and I don't say that as disrespect for him, but that's his style of management,” said Waybourn. "We need a sheriff that's more bold about creating relationships in the community and internally because he needs relationships internally."

Polls for Tuesday's runoff election close at 7 p.m.. Aside from the Tarrant County sheriff's race, some key statewide races still need to be decided. They include the Texas Railroad Commission in both parties and some state house and senate seats.

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