Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt should be re-elected to a fifth term.
She effectively leads a department which serves this community in many ways beyond its traditional duties of securing the courthouses, serving legal papers and extraditing prisoners.
The 80-member staff also supports domestic-violence victims, monitors convicted sexual predators, makes welfare checks on the elderly, escorts funerals and collects property taxes.
Under her leadership, the department has improved its professionalism and put a lot of distance from a past of corruption and cronyism.
For instance, a 2012 Witt investigation led to the resignation of two sergeants for selling guns that had been confiscated by the office. They were sentenced later to house arrest and probation.
Also that year, Witt, a former corrections officer, participated in a task force on reforming the county jail after several inmates died there. Her offer to merge the sheriff's department and the jail, as is the case in many states, was withdrawn after it ran up against some staffing, public policy and legal issues.
Her challenger, Brian Potters, was a former Marines military police officer before moving to Lexington in 2009. He served a year as a federal prison guard before starting a limousine business that went bankrupt. Personable and eager to serve in law enforcement, he has approached campaigning with enthusiasm.
But he does not have the management experience for the job nor a clear understanding of the sheriff's role in the merged government. He wants the office to do the type of patrolling and arresting that is the responsibility of the police department, echoing some hopes of past challengers.
What is different is that Potters offered as a praiseworthy example of law enforcement former Jackson County sheriff Denny Peyman, who attracted a few moments of national limelight when he declared he would not enforce any gun law he decided was unconstitutional. That comment was made following the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in Connecticut, in which 20 children and six staff members died.
At the time, the Jackson County fiscal court had already stripped Peyman of his powers because of fiscal irresponsibility and set up a separate police force. Voters later removed him from office.
To Potters, Peyman gets credit for being forceful and outspoken about what would or would not happen in his community.
Fayette County doesn't need a sheriff laying down "get out of town before dark" ultimatums.
Witt has not only a strong presence in the community but in law enforcement. She chairs both the National Sheriffs Association Domestic Violence Committee and is first vice chairwoman of the FBI's advisory board dealing with criminal justice information.
Fayette County is well served by Witt's experience, professionalism and knowledge of the community.
The unendorsed candidate may submit a 250-word response by noon Friday.