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Republican runoff voters are in the process of deciding who will be Ellis County’s next sheriff: challenger Brad Norman or incumbent Charles “Chuck” Edge.

Edge and Norman are competing in the July 14 GOP primary runoff because no candidate won a majority of votes in the three-way March primary. Norman received 44 percent, while Edge received 34 percent.

No Democrat is running, so the winner of the Republican primary will be elected sheriff in November.

Edge was appointed in 2017 and elected in 2018 to fill the unexpired term of former Sheriff Johnny Brown, who resigned following a New Year’s Eve fight at a local Whataburger. Edge has over 30 years of law enforcement experience, starting in Baytown in 1982. He later served as chief of police for Palestine, then Waxahachie. Edge left law enforcement in 2014 to run his gun store.

Norman’s law enforcement career spans 20 years, mostly with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, where he worked with the Drug Enforcement Administration on high-level narcotics cases and served as commander of the Special Investigation Unit, operations captain, and Brown’s chief deputy. He currently works for the Methodist Health System Police Department and is a reserve deputy in the Tarrant County Constable’s Office.

Both candidates cite the North Texas county’s fast growth as a major challenge facing the sheriff’s office.

Local grassroots Republican activist Kathy Ponce believes Norman is the right choice for the job.

“With Ellis County being a quickly growing county, I support the candidate that will look to new and innovative ideas to help protect the citizens of Ellis County,” Ponce told Texas Scorecard. “A leader that will listen to the citizens’ concerns and understand that as a community, we will keep our community safe.”

The sheriff’s race is the only contest on the Republican runoff ballot.

Early voting in the primary runoff runs through July 10. Election Day is Tuesday, July 14.

Voting information can be found on the Ellis County elections website.