MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The race for Shelby County Sheriff is expected to be a close one, with two proven leaders vying for the highest law enforcement position in the county.
Both candidates hoping to be Shelby County's next sheriff bring a wealth of experience.
"Floyd Bonner may be your choice or Dale Lane may be your choice, but either way you are going to end up with a sheriff who knows what they are doing," WMC5 Political Analyst Mike Nelson said.
Floyd Bonner is the county's current chief deputy, who's been with the sheriff's office for 38 years.
"Floyd Bonner as the chief deputy to Sheriff Bill Oldham with the endorsement of Bill Oldham. Oldham a Republican, Bonner a Democrat, and if elected Bonner would be the first elected African American sheriff in the history of Shelby County," Nelson said.
His current responsibilities include overseeing the day-to-day operations of the jail. He's been sharing his background with voters across the county.
"You're trying to touch as many voters as you possibly can. You know, my candidacy we've gone from Germantown to Boxtown, Millington to South Memphis," Bonner said.
Bonner said he wants to improve relations between the public and the sheriff's department.
As for jail overcrowding, he said the focus should be on releasing non-violent offenders and making sure inmates who get out don't return.
"Everyone is concerned about crime, where we're going and what we're going to do about it," Bonner said.
Bonner's opponent, Dale Lane, said he too wants to end jail overcrowding.
He's currently the director of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness and has held a variety of law enforcement and public safety positions over the last three decades.
Lane has the endorsement of Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and the six suburban county mayors..
"The ability to build collaboration and partnerships is what I've proven over the last 30 years, and that's what we're going to need--a whole community approach to fighting violent crime," Lane said.
Aside from working to reduce violent crime, Lane pledges to bring more transparency and improve public trust.
"So when we get out and we begin to rebuild those relationships, we begin to rebuild that trust," Lane said.
Both men plan to spend the final days of the campaign making the case to as many voters as they can, hoping to earn the job.
The winner will be sworn into office September 1.