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Former Sheriff Ben Johnson running for Volusia County Council

Former Sheriff Ben Johnson, who is running for a seat on the Volusia County Council, addresses the media in this April 2016 file photo.

Former Sheriff Ben Johnson, who is running for a seat on the Volusia County Council, addresses the media in this April 2016 file photo.

BEACON FILE PHOTO

Former four-term Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson has thrown his hat into the ring in the race for the Volusia County Council’s at-large seat.

Johnson, a 43-year law-enforcement veteran, served 16 years as Volusia County’s elected sheriff before retiring last year.

The former sheriff is running for the at-large County Council seat currently held by Joyce Cusack. Due to the county’s term limits, Cusack is prohibited from seeking re-election to the seat when her term expires next year.

“Public service has been my life’s calling,” Johnson said in a campaign announcement. “Whether being a street cop, serving as sheriff or representing the citizens on the County Council, it’s all about helping people.”

“That’s what I’ve done all my life, and I still have the passion and the drive to help people and contribute to the welfare and betterment of our community,” he added.

A Volusia County native, Johnson joined the Sheriff’s Office as a rookie deputy in 1971 and was first elected sheriff in 2000.

He was re-elected without opposition to a second term in 2004 and went on to win re-election handily in 2008 and 2012.

“The people of Volusia County know me. They know I’m not about grandstanding or self-promotion,” Johnson’s campaign announcement quoted the former sheriff as saying. “I’m about identifying and fixing problems, and I’m about bringing people together to find ways to improve lives and move our community forward. That’s what I always tried to do in my law-enforcement career, and that’s what I want to do on the County Council.”

The 67-year-old Johnson jumped into the council race after supporters and community leaders urged him to run, according to the campaign announcement.

The Rev. Dr. L. Ronald Durham, a community relations manager for the City of Daytona Beach and former pastor at Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, is also running for the seat, along with Percy Williamson, leisure services director for Daytona Beach. 

— Anthony DeFeo

 
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