Sussex County Sheriff Files for Re-Election - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Sheriff Files for Re-Election


GEORGETOWN, Del. - In Delaware, Sheriff's Deputies do not have the right to arrest people. But for over a year, Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher has been trying to change that policy. Recently he announced he will be running for re-election this November, and will continue to fight for this right. 

Christopher brought the case all the way to the Supreme Court, where his objections were rejected unanimously. But he said, this will not stop him from continuing his fight for arresting powers. 

WBOC read Christopher something he said before the case began, in which he talked about what he would do if the Supreme Court denied his appeal. 

"If I can't win and get justice in the state of Delaware, then I'll pick up my family and I'll move out of this god forsaken place," he said in that interview.

WBOC asked him his response now to this comment.

"That's correct," he said. "I still stand by my word. 

Later in the interview, he elaborated. 

"The fights not over," he said. "There's a lot of assumption that I'm giving up because the state supreme court says so. Well if the people want to appeal that and go to another level or start it over with a different approach, than the fights not over."

He said he wants to renew his role as Sheriff so that he can continue to fight for this policy. He said most counties across the nation allow for sheriff deputies to arrest people. He doesn't know why Delaware should be any different. 

"The fact is that the state has basically stepped on the position," he said. "And tried to make it seem like it's something else, but it's not."

But some in Sussex County say it's about time he does give up this fight. According to Mitch Crane, the chairman of the Sussex County Democratic Party Committee, Christopher's lawsuit has cost the county about $100,000 already in legal fees. 

Eric Hunter of Seaford said it's time they stop spending all of this money on what he calls a losing battle. 

"He should let it go," he said. "And let the state tell him what to do. That's what they're paying him for."

But others such as Roland Fraser of Georgetown, said that Christopher's goal was a noble one. 

"The sheriff at least is elected by us the people," he said. "So therefore it gives us more say into the policing powers that be."

But the court has been decisive. The Supreme Court voted unanimously against Christopher, arguing that the right to arrest is not a "core duty" of the Sheriff's office. 

At this point, Crane tells WBOC that the Democrats have not picked anyone to run against Christopher, however he said he is optimistic somebody will file for the position soon. 

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