Lawman switches jobs, now Gibson County mayor

TRENTON, Tenn. (AP) - It may take a while for the folks around Trenton to start calling Joe Shepard "mayor."

They've called him "sheriff" for 20 years now, but Shepard decided to run for the Gibson County mayor's office after long-time Mayor Ronnie Riley chose not to run again.

Shepard told The Jackson Sun one of his favorite sheriff stories is about his officers looking for a missing two-year-old girl who wandered away from home and finding her asleep with her bottle in a bean field.

There was also the marijuana bust in which his officers found 40,000 plants growing in a house and on land around it -- estimated street value, $26 million.

Shepard has twice headed the Tennessee Sheriff's Association. He says he wants to unite the ten cities in Gibson County in their effort to recruit industry.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)