To the editor:
My name is Betty Smith Douglas and my late husband, Pete Smith, was the chief of police in Williston for five years and served as the chief deputy sheriff of Levy County for 27 years.
The young men of our family have made their careers in law enforcement following in Pete’s shoes; in honor of him and to continue his work and love for the counties in which they have served.
Our son, Mark H. Smith, recently retired as a deputy with the Alachua County Sheriff Department. My grandson, Evan Sullivan served Marion County Sheriff Department for 17 years and has currently been employed with the Levy County Sheriff Department for 10 years. He is currently running for sheriff of Levy County. Evan’s son, Colton Sullivan, is an officer with the Marion County Sheriff Department, as well as Evan’s son-in-law, Mathew Hooper. My father, Sam Perryman, was chief of police in Cedar Key and Williston. No one can know the joys and the pain that this occasion brings upon the men and women serving in law enforcement and to their families better than the Smith Clan and their descendants.
It would be an untruthful statement to tell you it does not hurt when campaign opponents and their team members start unfavorable campaign tactics. It is not motivating for the candidates and it is very hurtful to their family members. On a personal note, it separates friends that have supported each other for a lifetime in this county.
I have requested my grandson, Evan, not to follow in this type of politicking and he has assured me that he will take the high road during this campaign.
I have lived in this county for a lifetime and I have watched many of you grow up here, marry and raised your families. There are not many individuals that come to mind that do not have baggage or should be on the frontline throwing stones.
As a wife, mother and grandmother, I am grieved by this type of campaign tactics and I am asking that all running for county offices this campaign year do so in a most honorable and Godly manner.
Betty Smith Douglas