William Waldron, a former homicide detective with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, is challenging his old boss in next year's election.
Waldron, 46, recently filed to run in next year's Republican primary against incumbent Sheriff Brad Steube.
"Having a vast experience in investigating gang-related crimes and all types of violent crime in Manatee County, I am well aware of the current trends in these crimes and others and what efforts need to be taken to reduce crime in Manatee County in order to make our community a safer place for all people," Waldon wrote in a statement posted on the Manatee supervisor of elections' website. "I would like to re-institute community policing efforts back into our community to instill better relations with the people we are sworn to protect and serve."
Waldron retired from the sheriff's office in August 2010 after 20 years in law enforcement. While at the sheriff's office, As a detective, Waldron investigated property crimes and later crimes against persons, including homicides.
One of the murder suspects Waldron investigated, Blaine Ross, was awarded a new trial after the Florida Supreme Court last year ruled 4-3 that Waldron violated Ross’ rights in obtaining a confession two days after the slaying of his parents and that Circuit Judge Edward Nicholas should have disallowed the confession at trial. A jury convicted Ross, now 27, in May 2007 of first-degree murder and robbery, and Nicholas sentenced Ross to death that November after a jury recommended the punishment.
After the court ruling, former sheriff Charlie Wells defended how Waldron handled the interview.
“I disagree with the ruling,” Wells said. “I watched the whole thing on video from another room as it was going on, and the detective did everything right."
Ross' retrial is set to start later this month.
Steube has already filed for re-election, and as of June 30, he had collected more than $98,000 in contributions for this re-election effort.