CHANDLER — Law enforcement experience isn't in short supply with two Republican candidates running for Lincoln County sheriff. But one candidate has been inside the courtroom more than the other because of money woes.
Jimmy Nash, 40, of Prague, and W. Scott Donovan, 49, of Carney, will face off in the primary election Tuesday. The winner will take on incumbent Sheriff Charlie Doughtery, a Democrat, in the general election Nov. 6.
Donovan, a U.S. Army veteran, worked as a U.S. State Department civilian police contractor when riots erupted in Kosovo in 2004 and in Iraq and Afghanistan where he helped build local police forces.
He returned home from Afghanistan in 2009.
“I've been exposed to a lot of ideas, and I'm not locked into the same old ways of doing things,” Donovan said.
While out of the country, he also learned valuable lessons in religion and cultural tolerance and grew to appreciate the United States even more, he said.
Donovan's most recent job in Oklahoma was as a Lincoln County sheriff's deputy. He's also been chief of police in Carney, and a patrolman, investigator and a shift supervisor at various departments.
“A lot of people have told me they want the department here to be more proactive and with better response times,” he said. “I believe the people need a courteous respectful response from law enforcement, and I'd like to make it a more professional department.”
Donovan and his wife filed for bankruptcy in 1997, court records show. At the time, Donovan said he was working two jobs and trying to make ends meet.
Nash, who has lived in Prague since the late 1980s, filed for bankruptcy in July 2008, according to court records. The bankruptcy case remains open. His home was foreclosed on in 2009.
In February 2008, Nash received a default judgment in Oklahoma County for owing about $4,400 in lease money, court records show.
Nash didn't respond to questions about his money issues.
Nash has experience in numerous sheriff's and police departments in the community. He also owns and operates a business where he oversees security for oil fields.
When Nash was a child, an off-duty Oklahoma City police officer working security at a bank inspired him to go into law enforcement.
“It seemed like everyone had a respect for him and he seemed like an upstanding citizen,” Nash said.
His experience as a business owner will help with budgeting and expenses if he's elected sheriff, while his law enforcement background will aid addressing drug abuse, underage drinking and property crimes in the area, Nash said.
“At nighttime there are few people on to respond to and deter crime, Nash said. “I would implement a canine program and go around to schools talking to kids about underage drinking and the effect of drugs.”
His experience with the state Department of Corrections also gives him insight on how to run a jail, he said.