Candidates For Harlan County Sheriff Debate

By: Jeff Allen
By: Jeff Allen

We're continuing to profile some of the hottest political races this November.

The candidates for Harlan County Sheriff squared off Tuesday night during a political forum.

As the candidates met face to face, it didn't take long for Sheriff Steve Duff's challengers to question whether there was enough being done to fight drugs.

Independent candidate John Simpson has no law enforcement experience, but says it's time for a change.

"If we don't do something people, we're going to be in bad shape," said Simpson.

Republican challenger Marvin Lipfird is a Harlan city police officer and says the county must do more to go after drug dealers.

"We're going to have to take our county from drug dealers, kingpins and nickel-dime dealers... but these people need help," said Lipfird

"Since I've been Sheriff, we've confiscated four hundred something thousand from drug dealers," said Duff.

John Simpson says drugs have led to other problems, like prostitution, and called on the county to work with the city of Harlan.

Marvin Lipfird asked Sheriff Steve Duff if he had prior knowledge that his former deputy, Roger Hall, was interfering in a federal drug investigation.

Hall served 15 months in prison.

"If had knowledge of it, i would've fired him immediately... I won't tolerate any wrongdoing in my office," said Duff.

Now it's up to the voters of Harlan County to decide who's best for the job.

Another hot race in Harlan County is the one for Circuit Judge.

We'll have more on that contest later this week on Mountain News.

You can also seen all of Tuesday night's forum from Harlan soon here on

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