A Seguin native is challenging a long-time incumbent for the position as Guadalupe County’s top law enforcement officer.
Recently, Jimmy Harless announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the Guadalupe County sheriff’s seat.
“I’m humbled by the thousands of Guadalupe County citizens who have reached out to me over the last two years asking me to consider running for Sheriff,” he said in a news release. “I am especially grateful for the hundreds of folks from across our county who have called, texted, emailed, or visited me in person in the last two and half months and asked me to consider making this race. After prayerful discussions with my family and friends, I am excited to announce that we are running for sheriff and that the race is on.”
In making the decision to run for the office, Harless said he just wants to give people a choice.
“I just think this community is ready for somebody different,” he said. “They haven’t had a choice on the ballet for sheriff since 2004. People are telling me they just want a choice. We’ll give them a choice and see what happens.”
Harless currently serves as Guadalupe County constable for Precinct 2. He first took office in 2013.
During his career as a peace officer, Harless has served as a Seguin police officer, member of the Seguin ISD Gang Task Force, and a Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office deputy. He holds a Master Peace Officer certification from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, is a graduate of Sam Houston State University’s Texas Constable Leadership Program and is a trained hostage negotiator.
He serves as the Gonzales County Emergency Management Coordinator, has seven years of emergency management experience, 13 years as the Gonzales County Subdivision Authority, and is the Guadalupe County and Gonzales County floodplain administrator. He also holds two licenses issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
If elected, Harless said he has a few things he would like to work on including creating a more positive image and better cooperation between area law enforcement agencies.
“I am a very positive person,” he said. “I just want to take that and project that positive image to the community and hit a reset. Also, there is not a lot of team work between the sheriff’s office and the police departments in the county. We’re all public servants, so why are we not teaming up together?”
Additionally, Harless said he would like to see the law enforcement agency focus more on traffic enforcement, human trafficking and mental health, specifically when it comes to veterans.
“I’m on the board of directors at Bluebonnet Trails … and I want to tie that into the sheriff’s office, so that we are checking on the veterans and we have somebody that is following up on the mental health issue, maybe train more deputies as mental health officers,” he said. “I think that is where we need to focus. We don’t need to be putting those people in jail. If we can work with them up front then that is what needs to happen.”
However, when it comes to budgets, Harless said he’s “very conservative.”
“Out of the four constables, I have the lowest budget, but we do the most civil work and I’m proud of that,” he said. “I don’t go out and spend money that is not mine.”
Harless is the father of two children — one in college, one in high school — and is a member of Freidens Church in Geronimo.
Harless is challenging incumbent Arnold Zwicke.