ANDERSON — All candidates running for Madison County sheriff will have a battle in the primary, including incumbent Sheriff Ron Richardson, who will face off in the May 4 election against Anderson City Councilman Ollie Dixon.

Dixon filed Friday to run for the sheriff’s position, citing his interest in law enforcement and time as United Auto Workers Local 663 president and vice president as factors in his decision to run.

“I’ve always had a keen interest in law enforcement,” Dixon said. “I just decided (running for sheriff) would be a way to get my name out there and perhaps there will be other offices coming up within the county. I just want to see how well I can do in the county.”

Dixon, 60, said he had supporters all over Madison County from his days leading the union, when he negotiated and arbitrated for 8,000 union members.

“I got a lot of ties and I know a lot of people,” he said. “Believe me, working as president of the union out there and having to go into negotiation when people got in trouble, it was just like being a policeman when I had to save their jobs.”

As sheriff, Dixon would be in charge of the same jail into which he was accused of smuggling a gun in March after a drunken driving arrest. Dixon later accepted responsibility for the misdemeanor drunken driving count, and Madison County Judge Fredrick Spencer dismissed the felony handgun charge on his last day in office in Dixon said if he were sheriff, “that type of negligence wouldn’t be part of my administration,” he said.

Dixon did admit, though, that Richardson would be a strong opponent in the primary.

“By taking on a strong competitor like that, if I can get support from the county against that individual, then it will show I have support in the county,” he said.

Dixon said he would support accountability and community policing if he were sheriff.

“I feel that any law enforcement officer, especially the sheriff, ought to be in good relationships with all the community,” he said. “It shouldn’t be taken as just a job to get paid. Any law enforcement officer can be a friend and spend time socializing and getting to know the people, helping out young folks and trying to keep them from going to jail.”

Other sheriff candidates include Republicans Sam Hanna and Bruce Dunham, who will face each other in the primary.

Contact Aleasha Sandley: 640-4805,

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