LAMAR COUNTY, Miss. (WHLT) – On November 7, Lamar County voters will decide if incumbent Sheriff Danny Rigel will serve a sixth term or if his challenger, James Murray, will unseat him.

Rigel has served as sheriff since 2003. He’s being challenged by a former member of the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office.

“I had a lot of people approach me earlier this year, back in January, asking me if I would consider running for sheriff. After a lot of thought and prayer and discussion with my family, we thought about what we could bring to the table with some changes in Lamar County, and we decided to run for sheriff,” Murray stated.

Murray said if elected, he wants to better engage with the community.

“I’d like to see more community and county involvement from the sheriff’s department, whether it’s community functions, church functions, and then just being more visibly and readily available to the community,” he said.

With more than 25 years in law enforcement, Murray said he’s prepared to combat violent crime.

“I’d like to see us develop what I like to call an anti-crime unit, which would be a unit that would be separated from the patrol division, and would have a little bit more freedom to move throughout the county and address issues that come up other than having to just respond to calls for service,” stated Murray.

He said he has the utmost respect for Rigel, but he also said there’s room for growth.

“He’s been a good sheriff. I have a lot of respect for him. I just think it’s time for a new change and a new energy in the sheriff’s department,” said Murray.