2016 Elections: Tarrant Co. Sheriff Dee Anderson challenged by Bill Waybourn

Longtime Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson faces a challenge from retired Dalworthington Gardens Police Chief Bill Waybourn in the Republican primary this year.

Waybourn is familiar to many voters -- both as a longtime police chief and friend to famed American Sniper Chris Kyle and his widow Taya. Incumbent sheriff Dee Anderson has also been very visible, most recently giving frequent updates on affluenza teen Ethan Couch.

It's unusual to challenge a longtime incumbent, but Waybourn said it's time for a change at the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office.

"I believe it is us out in the community creating relationships with everybody the whole county in order to prevent things like Baltimore and things like Ferguson,” Waybourn said, discussing his approach. “It's knowing those formal and informal leaders in the community who will turn tide on that."

Waybourn is also known for instituting mandatory blood draws for DWI suspects who refuse a breathalyzer.

Waybourn has raised more money than Anderson and has big-name endorsements like actor Chuck Norris, former governor Rick Perry and Chris Kyle's widow Taya, who is also his treasurer.

Police associations from Arlington and Fort Worth also support Waybourn.

"The troops are saying it the elected leadership is saying it and the former appointed leaders are saying we need change,” Waybourn said.

Anderson said he believes he’s been effective in his 16 years in office and believes he can still be effective for another term.

When Anderson was elected sheriff 16 years ago, the office was dealing with problems and bad publicity. Anderson said he's cleaned it up and he boasts a well-run jail that he said consistently comes in under budget.

Before being elected as sheriff, Anderson was the public information officer for Arlington police and had a prominent role in the creation of the Amber Alert.

"We do everything that we're required to do we do everything that we want to do and more and I think the record speaks for itself I've done exactly what the voters asked me to do," Anderson said.

Anderson has been endorsed by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley and District Attorney Sharen Wilson.

He doesn't expect law enforcement unions to support him.

"The simple answer to that is that I'm management and they're union and anytime you're on the management side union is not going to favor that," Anderson said.

The winner of the race will be the next sheriff as there’s no Democratic candidate.

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