FALLS COUNTY, Texas – As Early Voting wraps up, one of the most controversial races in Central Texas is still heating up.
While Falls County Sheriff Ricky Scaman remains the center of controversy, his challenger Joe Lopez is hoping to be the new sheriff in town.
Falls County Judge Jay Elliot described Sheriff Ricky Scaman weeks ago as a “de facto sheriff” – noting the county’s decision to strip Scaman of his duties after being indicted.
Despite those charges, Scaman is running to be re-elected.
Weeks ago, the sheriff was ordered to return his equipment after being indicted on three felonies and two misdemeanors for sexual assault and assault of a public servant.
The sheriff and his lawyers deny all of the allegations.
Scaman continues his bid after the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement suspended his law enforcement licence due to these arrrests.
According to county authorities – Scaman can’t carry a gun, make an arrest or leave the county.
His opponent, Joe Lopez, is aware of the litigation surrounding the incumbent – however, he says those aren’t his concerns.
“I’m not running on that philosophy of saying anything bad, and that’s just my stance on it. I’m running on who I am, what I am, and what I want to do for this county,” said Lopez.
He says he has his own a clear set of objectives.
“Develop the trust in this law enforcement community throughout the entire county,” Lopez explained.
Though Falls County is a majority Republican county, Lopez believes he can win the race for sheriff with bipartisan support.
FOX44 was in contact with Sheriff Scaman briefly before airing our report, but he declined to interview due to a prior engagement.