Hopkins County Sheriff's Office Chief Investigator Lewis Tatum said Friday that he would be a candidate for the office of Hopkins County Sheriff in the March 1 primary elections.
Tatum said his decision to become a candidate was tied closely with current Sheriff Butch Adams’ decision to not seek another term in office.
“I do intend to run for sheriff now that Sheriff Adams has announced that he is retiring,” Tatum said. “We've been talking about it for quite some time and I have been learning about managing the budget, dealing with the commissioners court and all I will need to be able to do as sheriff.”
Tatum has been a deputy under Adams for the past 19 years.
“I've got some really big shoes to try to fill,” Tatum talking about his long time boss Butch Adams. “Butch has done such a good job for the past 20 years, and I have been with him all but one of those years and have learned a lot from him. I just hope I can carry it on.”
He has been thinking and planning to enter the race for Hopkins County Sheriff for quite a while.
“We want to keep this department going, we've worked hard. Butch has worked hard to put this together and we've all worked hard with him to keep going with what we've been able to accomplish,” he said. “We sure want to keep it going.”
Tatum has worked in every aspect of the sheriff's department over the past 19 years, from patrol deputy to shift commander, investigator and, for the past four years, chief investigator.
He said one of the biggest challenges facing the new county sheriff will be to make sure the new county jail is run properly and to continue to keep the county safe.
“Continue what we are doing right now, chasing down these burglars,” Chief Investigator Lewis Tatum said. “Like everybody else in this world, we've got a methamphetamine problem; and we keep fighting that and keep the best deputies we can out on the street and make the citizens of this county happy.”
In 2013, the Texas Sheriff's Association named Lewis Tatum Peace Officer of the Year.
Lewis and his wife, Michelle, have been married for 34 years. All of their children are grown and now have their own families; they comprise a very close-knit family.
“I guess we are very lucky to have all our kids that are healthy and all the grandkids are healthy,” he said. “It's, you know, it's a blessing.”
Lewis Jr., Tatum’s oldest son, is married to Lindsey and lives in Woodland, Calif.; they have a two-year-old daughter, Lila.
Riley and his wife, Hannah, live in Sulphur Springs; their daughter will be starting her first year at Lamar Primary School.
Alina went to Nashville in pursuit of a singing career, but became a housewife and mother. She married Michael Sanders; they live in Mount Juliet, Tenn., and have a little boy named Gibson, who turns two this month.
Tatum also served his country in the Navy and aboard the amphibious assault ship, the USS Peleliu, out of Long Beach, Calif., a Marine troop ship in the Gulf of Tonkin, Indian Ocean, the Philippines and Thailand.