Ripley County Sheriff Tom Grills announced that he will retire eight months before his second term is set to end. Due to state statute for elected officials, he had to submit a resignation letter rather than simply announce a retirement. His last day in office will be Tuesday, April 1.
Now, Ripley County Republican Chairman Ginger Bradford will organize a caucus to select a replacement that will fulfill the duties of the office until December 31.
The caucus will be held between April 13 and April 18, Bradford indicated.
The timing of Grills resignation puts an interesting spin on the course of events, as the May Primary is scheduled just a month and six days after his last day in office. There are five candidates running for sheriff, including three republicans and two democrats.
Grills was elected as a Republican candidate, therefore, a member of the same party must replace his seat in office.
Bradford is unsure if one of the three republicans running for sheriff in the primary election would be elected through the caucus. It would appear as if the party is endorsing a candidate, which is a situation Bradford would like to avoid.
She added that if someone from outside of the office would be elected through the caucus, they could likely be out of a job on December 31.
County officials are seeking individuals to file for candidacy for the April caucus. If interested, contact Bradford at (812) 756-0778 at least 72 hours before the caucus is held.