By | May 13, 2022

May 12, 2022

Most of our focus in this primary has been on the District Attorney race, as the winner of it will determine the office. That does not mean that the other races are not important, especially the Sheriff’s race.

This primary started off with four candidates vying for the February Republican nomination, Current Sheriff Chris Francis, Steve “Theo” Theodoropolis, Tony Roberson, and Aaron Ellenburg.  Then the State was thrown a curve ball by the courts and the primary was moved back until May 17th.

Aaron Ellenburg

Steve “Theo” Theodoropoulos

During this time Sheriff Chris Francis dropped out and Tony Roberson decided to run as an independent candidate leaving newcomer to politics Aaron Ellenburg and Steve (Theo) Theodoropoulos, who ran against current Sheriff Chris Francis in the last election.

When a candidate is running against an incumbent the campaign usually focus on the incumbent and their record of service. Having two candidates who have not served means we really must focus on who they are and what they plan to accomplish if elected to the office.

In this primary we fortunately have two very good men running both being involved in law enforcement and their community. This makes it very hard to decide whom one would vote for. It really comes down to who YOU think would do the best job. There are multiple videos of their platforms available online. Please go watch them.

When you have a situation where two “good” people are running then the people who support them tend to look for negative things to use against the other candidate. Unfortunately one way this is done is by spreading rumors and incomplete truths via social media. We have all seen it being done.

This is not a reflection on the candidate whose supporters are fueling rumors but more on the persons doing it. Rumors however do have consequences. Aaron Ellenburg has grown up here and is the youngest candidate on the ballot so many actually know him or his family personally. He is accused of inexperience and nativity and quiet whispers abound that he is just going to be a “front man” for Sheriff Chris Francis. The most damaging rumors however seems to be about his opponent Steve “Theo” Theodoropoulos. It is harder when you are not from this area but that doesn’t mean you love it any less once you get here.

“Theo”, as he is referred to, did not grow up here. He moved here in 2015 from Orlando, Florida. “Theo” has a long history in law enforcement and was working for the TSA as a Federal Air Marshall when he became upset at the profiling and other objective behaviors being done by his fellow Marshalls and his supervisors. He felt this was wrong. He reported his concerns but was ignored by his management.

Theo then took the next step by becoming a “whistleblower.” This was no average whistleblower situation but one that involved the federal government.  Theo knew it would be difficult but he was convinced doing the right thing was the way to go. He had no idea how vindictive his supervisors would be.

It ran the gambit from being “talked” about to being “lied” about, to actually being “set up.” He not only lost his job with TSA but also was harassed by other law enforcement “friends” of his supervisors. Theo had no recourse but to sue the TSA to try to regain his reputation and for his own personal safety. The rumors of his “arrests, drinking issues, and violence” resulted from this time period where those whose actions he reported on were maligning him.

Theo won his lawsuit but the rumors persisted as such rumors do. He and his wife found some property in Rutherford County and fell in love with the area so they moved here in 2015. They became part of the community. We here in Rutherford County are used to people falling in love with our area. We know what a jewel we have here.

Being the man he is and with his history he began to really listen to the discussions of issues within the Sheriff’s Office and felt he needed to step up using his past experiences to help. He ran unsuccessfully in the primary for Sheriff in 2018.

In 2021 he decided to run again as our issues with drug trafficking have just gotten worse.  He and his wife felt invested in the community and the county. He has heard the rumors about himself and lived through the consequences of his actions with the TSA.  He knew they would again rear their ugly heads if he ran for office. The old phrase “let no good deed go unpunished” rings true here. He decided to run anyway.

Theo and Aaron both will respond to questions on their Facebook pages and in the community.  Neither have anything to hide. Both had to have clean records in order to run for Sheriff. Do your research on their plans for the future of the Sheriff’s department to see whom you would be more likely to support.

Our slogan here is “small town friendly”. Do not listen to rumors conjectures or negative comments about either of these candidates. Ask them directly and respectfully if you have a question. Research  the Internet knowing the background of the situation you are looking into. They will both answer you if you ask.

The citizens of Rutherford County deserve a better environment for their children to grow up in or themselves to grow old in because they ARE better. Everyone who has ever lived here knows this. We are so fortunate to have good men who deeply care about this county running to be the Republican Party Sheriff candidate in the general election in November. Go out and vote for your county.

Early voting is going on now through the 14th with the final day of primary voting being May 17th. Your vote matters!