Military Man Seeks Service As Sheriff
SISTERSVILLE – Mike Huffman is a write-in candidate for Tyler County Sheriff.
The general election is Nov. 8.
Huffman said his political party affiliation is Republican.
“I would like everyone to give me the opportunity to serve this county,” he said. “Back in 1976, my wife (Donna) and I made a decision to raise our family here. I would like to give back to the county.”
Huffman attended Glenville State College where he met his wife, Donna (Fletcher), daughter of Paul and Elaine Fletcher. In April of 1972, Huffman enlisted in the 130th Air National Guards for 6 years. They started their family in 1976 in Tyler County and he began working for Union Carbide (Momentive Performance Materials) where he worked 38 years. In 1987, Huffman took a management position at Union Carbide managing people in one capacity or another. He served on the Fire Brigade at work since 1987 as assistant chief and Chief of the Fire Brigade. He has served the Alma Fire Dept. and Emergency Squad. He was appointed as the Local Emergency Planning Committee Chairman of Tyler County by the OES Director when the Office of Emergency Services was established. Huffman has served on 9ll Council and the Local Planning Commission for several years. In 1995, Huffman reenlist in the Air National Guards at the age of 43 to complete his military career.
Huffman said he was activated many times on Disaster and Flood Relief and has served as the liaison between military and local governments. His military career included serving in Germany in the 2003 Iraq War and again in Spain in 2005. After Huffman returned from Spain, he was deployed to the Monongahela Drug Task Force in Morgantown and served as an intelligence officer to help control drugs. Huffman retired from the military in 2012 with 23 years of service.
Huffman emphasizes his experience and pledges to do his best to tackle the drug problem.
“I have always been concerned about the drug problem in this country; so I served on the Drug Eradication deployments and worked with federal, state and local law enforcement to remove marijuana from West Virginia,” he said.
Gaining the voters’ trust is a big issue in any election from the presidential race on down the ballot. He emphasizes integrity, character, his service in the military, management experience and active participation in civic affairs as a reason he’s can be trusted to do the job.
“Through the military, we’re taught integrity along with patriotism,” he said. “Also, I have 38 years with Momentive….I’ve been in management now for 29 years. Along with that comes a lot of integrity training with the company. I’m law abiding. I’ve never been arrested. I was taught to respect authority and to be honest first before anything else.”
Huffman said serving as sheriff is a lifelong dream for him.
“It’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do, but time and circumstances didn’t allow it,” he said.
Huffman added, “You can’t run against someone as good as Bob Kendle (Tyler County Sheriff) and expect to win.”
During the past primary election cycle, Huffman said, he didn’t run against Tyler County Chief Deputy Dean Pratt because he considers him a friend. Huffman’s son, Shannon, is a long time deputy sheriff with strong ties the community. Pratt lost, so Huffman decided to test the waters with a write-in campaign.
“This time, Dean Pratt was running,” he said. “Dean and I have been friends through the fire department and ambulance squad and he’s been a deputy for almost 20 years. So once again, I chose to sit out. When Dean lost, I thought there was still an avenue for me. I talked it over with my family, my children and Shannon, and decided to give it a shot.”
Huffman said he doesn’t support paying sheriff’s deputies more money, though he support cost of living adjustments to salaries as necessary and working within the means of the county budget.
“I feel that our deputies are paid very well in this county compared to other small counties,” he said.
Huffman offered a long list of the responsibilities the sheriff.
“As sheriff of Tyler County I will bring honesty, integrity, my management skills to manage and expect all deputies to use their skills to treat the citizens of Tyler County with Respect and Dignity. My motto is: ‘Words fitly spoken are like Apples of Gold in pictures of Silver.’ Proverbs 25:11. I will work for better communication between law enforcement and our community. With help from this community and law enforcement, we will work together to make this county a safe and law abiding community.”