Williamson County voters to decide between Sheriff Robert Chody and Mike Gleason

Williamson County

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Williamson County voters will soon decide either to keep incumbent Sheriff Robert Chody in office or elect his challenger.

In the race for Williamson County Sheriff, retired assistant Chief Deputy Mike Gleason is challenging Sheriff Robert Chody.

“We are no longer a small town agency. We are considered a metro county,” Sheriff Robert Chody said.

There is one thing both incumbent Chody and his opponent, Gleason, agree on, and it’s the need to hire more deputies to keep up with the rapid growth in Williamson County.

“Williamson County attracts a very diverse group of people. We have to handle the training for a very diverse group of people,” Gleason said.

Their philosophies diverge when deciding on how they’ll police and where resources will be allocated.

“We need to have deputies in your neighborhood, getting to know where they work and providing basic security. We don’t need all of these specialized detail doing stuff that is not needed,” Gleason said. “The first thing Sheriff Chody did was institute a full-time SWAT team. You see where the millions of dollars in law suits got us. We don’t have enough work for a full-time SWAT team.”

Sheriff Chody said those specialized units have pushed investigations forward or helped solve many crimes since he’s been in office, such as one group that helped identify decades-old crime victims.

“We have cold case detectives, four in some cases, assigned to one case,” Sheriff Chody said. “You don’t do anything with a cold case if you aren’t working it.”

A deep dive into the campaign finance report showed that Chody’s campaign spent nearly $300,000 on his campaign. Chody, who won the lottery in 2001, loaned his campaign $290,000. He also received about $5,500 in political contributions.

In comparison, the Gleason campaign has spent less than $17,000. His political contributions total nearly $20,000 with notable contributors, including Williamson County Commissioner Terry Cook and former County Judge Dan Gattis.

Sheriff Chody was also arrested a week ago and charged with felony tampering with evidence in relation to the death of Javier Ambler. Chody and his legal team have since called it baseless.

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