The next-in-command has been officially named to move up to the big chair and serve as the interim sheriff in Garvin County.
It was a 3-0 vote for county commissioners earlier this week as they named Jim Mullett to be the next sheriff here starting Monday, July 15.
Mullett, a longtime deputy in Garvin County and an undersheriff the last few years, was appointed as less than a week remains for the outgoing Larry Rhodes to serve in the office he's held for the last eight plus years.
“I appreciate the county commissioners and their vote of confidence in me to take over the big shoes of Larry Rhodes,” Mullett said moments after his new appointment Monday morning.
“I'm going to give 110 percent to this office and county. Being here the last 16 years I'm capable of leading this department in the direction it's going.”
Rhodes, who's been the county sheriff here since 2010, is set to serve through this weekend, specifically Sunday, July 14, before stepping down to begin his new job as director of investigations with the Oklahoma Medical Board.
Carol Dillingham, counsel for the commissioners, said at right after midnight on July 15 the interim sheriff will officially step into the office.
She's quick to add the appointment was based on Mullett's experience more than anything else.
“It's not really because he's the undersheriff,” Dillingham said about Mullett being the commissioners' choice.
“There's been a lot of discussion about him being the best man to fill those big shoes.”
District 2 Commissioner Gary Ayers agreed it's Mullett's experience in law enforcement and specifically the Garvin County Sheriff's Office that made him the easy choice.
“He's been here and has done the job. He can carry right on,” Ayers said.
With Mullett now set to serve out the term, Dillingham adds he and anyone else interested in running for the office of sheriff can formally file their candidacy next spring.
A filing period is scheduled for April 8-10, 2020 with a primary election date to follow on June 30, a primary runoff date of Aug. 25 and the general election in November 2020.
Along with sheriff, other county offices set for the 2020 election cycle are county clerk, court clerk and District 2 county commissioner.