Jefferson County Republican candidate for sheriff Jared Hudson is on a mission. A mission to uphold the Constitution and protect the people. It seems like a tough mission, but missions are nothing new to this 37-year-old husband and father of three girls.
Hudson is a former Navy SEAL and business owner. He has trained military and law enforcement all over the world and is now ready to get his "own house in order" after a message from God.
"The most important thing about me is I'm a Christian," said Hudson.
While working in Africa, Hudson said he was thinking about everything happening back home. It was then that he said he felt the need to leave what he was doing and come back to Alabama to make a difference.
"I didn't know what it was, but I knew I had to do something," said Hudson. "So, I came back and still didn't know, and all of a sudden, here I am, and it's running for sheriff."
Hudson talks about his faith in God often. He is also a firm believer in upholding the Constitution.
"People elect the sheriff, and it's the job of the sheriff to protect them and their constitutional rights," continued Hudson.
He said while it is essential to also enforce the code of the state of Alabama, he is aware that there could be times he would have to choose between state law and the rights of the people.
"If the code impedes on the Constitution, then you don't enforce the code," Hudson said. "The Constitution is first; the Constitution is king. The Constitution gives you your rights, and really it's we the people. We're the sovereign in this nation, and the job as sheriff is to protect that."
A law passed this year allowed for permitless or constitutional carry. On January 1, 2023, Alabamians will no longer be required to have a concealed pistol permit to bear arms. While many sheriffs in the state, including the Alabama Sheriffs Association, opposed the bill, Hudson said he supports it and does not believe citizens should have to pay for their rights. However, he does understand both sides of the debate.
"I believe it's the best interpretation of the Second Amendment," added Hudson. "To not be infringed."
Hudson said he doesn't believe political parties should have anything to do with who becomes sheriff.
"It doesn't matter if you go to church with me on Sunday or if you're an atheist that believes completely differently from me," Hudson explained. "If you're a Republican, Democrat, black, white, man, woman, none of those things matter. We're all in Jefferson County. As the sheriff, I'm going to protect your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Regarding the challenge of running as a Republican in a blue county, Hudson said he is convinced that Jefferson County is a Republican county, despite voter turnout. Part of his campaign is focused on getting the word out to head to the polls in November.
"The biggest issue we have in gubernatorial elections, which is the one that I'm in on November 8, is they only have about 52% voter turnout, and generally that's even lower than that for Republicans," Hudson said. "So, the first plan is to get our Republican base out and vote."
Hudson said one of the most problematic things he is facing is that Jefferson County has a high violent crime rate and property crime rate compared to other counties in the country. He said he's ready to effect change.
Hudson said as sheriff of the county that he would address the gang issue in Birmingham to help fight crime.
"We've still got to deal with it, and you still can deal with it," insisted Hudson. "… We just don't enforce the Birmingham code. But Birmingham is in Jefferson County, so it's my job to effect that."
Regarding an increased number of bingo halls opening in the county, Hudson said the misdemeanor crime of gaming is a smaller issue when looking at the bigger picture. He suggested citizens call their local legislators and ask for the crime to be changed to a felony in order to achieve change. He also suggested speaking with agencies that issue business licenses to bingo halls.
"If you issue a business license, that means you're saying, 'Hey, you're doing the right thing,'" Hudson declared.
Hudson said another way to push back from bingo halls is to deal with increased crime around those businesses.
Hudson is running against incumbent Democrat Sheriff Mark Pettway. The General Election will be held on November 8.
Hudson spoke to 1819 News and was live on Tribune Unscripted Thursday. You can watch the interview below.
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