Mt. Juliet city commissioner, former sheriff’s deputy to face incumbent in race
Ray Justice, a lifelong resident of Wilson County and current city commissioner for Mt. Juliet, announced his candidacy for sheriff of Wilson County.
Justice will face incumbent Robert Bryan for the seat in the Aug. 2 county General Election.
Justice is a 1980 graduate of Mt. Juliet High School and has five children who are graduates, or who currently attend Wilson County schools. Justice is a graduate of the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy and has worked in law enforcement for more than 20 years.
Justice worked the roads of Wilson County for several years as a DUI officer, along with his patrol activities, and was tasked with writing and managing federal and state grants for equipment and manpower. He was the first drug recognition expert certified in Wilson County; a program certified by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
“Wilson County deserves a sheriff that is inclusive and believes the communities of Statesville, Norene, Cottage Homes and Watertown deserve the same level of protection as the people of Lebanon and Mt. Juliet receive,” Justice said.
Justice said his experience working with fellow commissioners and staff to make Mt. Juliet one of the fastest-growing and safest cities in the state, coupled with having one of the lowest property taxes in the state, are a prime example of conservative management in government.
“This, along with my experience in law enforcement, make me the best candidate for the job,” said Justice.
According to Justice, the current administration has raised the operating budget 24 percent in the last two years without substantially increasing manpower. He said it happened on the backs of a 35-cent property tax hike in Wilson County two years ago.
“I believe in keeping in touch with the taxpayers while working with the men and women in uniform, giving everyone a sense of confidence their sheriff is walking beside them, and I will be consistent and dependable in all aspects of management as we take Wilson County law enforcement to the next level,” Justice said.
Justice said he plans to reduce the current budget 15 percent, create a true juvenile division, initiate an education and enforcement program to fight the opioid crisis that is rampant nationwide and will not allow any level of corruption to exist at the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.
Along with Justice’s many roles in local government, he is an advocate for Wilson County youth, performing numerous “mock” DUI crashes at every Wilson County high school, both public and private. He served on the board of directors of the Mt. Juliet Little League baseball and softball programs for more than 20 years, serving in the role of vice president, then president in 2010 and 2011.
Justice also served on the board of directors of the Mt. Juliet Youth Football and Cheerleading program and was a coach in the program, as well.
He is the former chair of the Mt. Juliet Parks Board that transformed Charlie Daniels Park into what he called the showpiece the children of Wilson County enjoy today and was instrumental in building the Mt. Juliet Community Center at Charlie Daniels Park.
“Our greatest assets are our children and our senior citizens,” Justice said. “Our children are our future. They are what our county will someday be, and our seniors have the wisdom that, if we listen to them, will keep us from repeating the mistakes of the past.
“I want to move the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office forward and create a working environment the men and women who work our streets can enjoy and allow the residents of Wilson County to have confidence their elected officials are working for them. I want to provide conservative leadership in law enforcement in Wilson County, and I’m asking for your vote Aug. 2.”