MORROW — Morrow Police Chief James Callaway lost his bid to become Coweta County sheriff in a June 20 special election.
Current Sheriff Lenn Wood beat Callaway and two other challengers by a large margin.
Callaway, who lives in Coweta County, is also president of the Georgia Gang Investigators Association, was a distant second, with 1,466 votes or 14.45% of the 10,127 ballots counted, according to the Coweta County special election results.
In a message to supporters posted on his campaign’s Facebook page, Callaway said, “I knew this was not going to be easy being an ‘outsider’ despite my credentials. I respect the voice of the voters. To me it’s sad that in a county of over 140,000 people and nearly 85,000 registered voters this was decided with less than 10 percent.”
Callaway said he was “truly humbled” for the support and for “all the first responder votes that I know I have received from all over the county.”
However, Callaway said he was hardly in despair: “Tomorrow I wake up as the Chief of Police for the City of Morrow, as well as the president of the Georgia Gang Investigator’s Association and the District 10 Representative of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.”
Hinting at bigger things, Callaway said that he was “working for all of Georgia” and “That’s why I’m working now with our Governor Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr,” adding, “I know I said 2020 was out of the question, but I may be swayed.”
Callaway entered the race after then-sheriff Mike Yeager was appointed U.S. marshal for the Northern District of Georgia. In an interview with the Newnan Times-Herald, Callaway said it has been his “lifelong dream” to be a sheriff and that he has experience and training that Coweta needs as one of metro Atlanta’s most rapidly-growing suburbs.
Callaway has been with the Morrow Police Department since 2006, working his way up the ranks until being appointed to the city’s top law enforcement post three years ago. Before that, Callaway served in several positions as a Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office deputy and as a MARTA patrol officer.