WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The man who ran against the sheriff in West Baton Rouge and lost by a long shot four years ago is running again.
Candidate Troy Maranto believes voters are ready for a change, but Sheriff Mike Cazes said he is not ready to retire. Sheriff Cazes has held the top law enforcement job in West Baton Rouge Parish for 12 years.
"It's a job I truly love," Cazes said.
Cazes said while he has gotten a lot accomplished, specifically with his drug intervention mission along Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 190, he is not done yet. The sheriff said, if elected to a fourth term, he plans to build on his re-entry program which helps rehabilitate inmates.
"This program, it gives them an education, teaches them how to run a checkbook. After they graduate from that course, they go to work release and we find them a job," Cazes said.
Cazes said he has the resources in place to continue keeping residents safe without raising taxes.
"As far as getting the job done, I think I've done it. My record stands for itself," Cazes said.
Troy Maranto, a Desert Storm veteran and former law enforcement officer, has thrown his hat back in the race for sheriff. He lost to Cazes four years ago, but he said this time the tides have turned.
"I believe last time people were afraid of change," Maranto said.
Maranto said his military, law, and experience as a karate instructor have prepared him to serve on the front lines in West Baton Rouge.
"I'd like to get an anti-bullying initiative in the schools combined with revitalizing the junior deputy program," Maranto said.
Maranto also wants to start a prison ministry outreach, hire more reserve deputies, and create a system he believes will help encourage success.
"I plan to have three boards if I become sheriff. One is a hiring board, one is a disciplinary board, and one's a promotion board," Maranto said.
Maranto said his first order of business would be to take a good hard look at the department's $12.5 million budget before establishing priorities.
Voters will decide on Saturday, October 24 which candidate they believe is better suited for the job.