By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
Independent candidate Keith Settlemires is running for Alcorn County sheriff.
Settlemires has two opponents in the race so far — Libertarian Ricky Gofourth and independent incumbent Sheriff Ben Caldwell.
Settlemires is a senior investigator with the state Agricultural Theft Bureau, and his territory covers nine counties, including Alcorn. He has built a network of law enforcement contacts during his 21 years as a criminal investigator with the Mississippi Department of Agriculture. He was the agency’s state investigator of the year in 2015 and 2018.
He wants to start a program to provide increased security for the elderly in Alcorn County. The program would involve the sheriff’s office closely monitoring senior citizens who live alone.
Settlemires also wants to help the youth by obtaining D.A.R.E. grants. The growing drug problem in the county must be addressed, and improvements are needed at the regional prison, he added.
Settlemires said he would bring a common sense approach to the sheriff’s office and be available and accessible to the public. It is not an 8-to-5 job, he added.
Settlemires noted that his law enforcement contacts in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee would be helpful when it comes to solving crimes in Alcorn County. If elected, he said he would also work well with the Corinth Police Department and state and federal agencies to curb crime.
He ran in the prior sheriff’s office race but said he came up short of the runoff election by 37 votes.
Settlemires has lived in Alcorn County his whole life and currently serves on the board of directors for Northeast Mississippi Community Services. He was also the fourth district election commissioner for 10 years and has served on boards for the Farmers Home Administration, the Alcorn County Co-Op and the Kossuth Water Association.
His father, Loward Settlemires, was a World War II Navy veteran, and two of his brothers, Bobby and Ray, served in Vietnam. His wife, Sheila Galyean Settlemires, is a nurse practitioner.