Muscogee Sheriff Ralph Johnson is running again.
The incumbent will announce his campaign for re-election 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday in Room 104 in the Columbus Convention & Trade Center.
Johnson first won election in 1999, gaining 62 percent of the vote in a three-way race to finish the unexpired term of Sheriff Gene Hodge, who retired to head the investigative division of the state Department of Corrections. The next year, Johnson as an independent was the only candidate to qualify, and ran unopposed to win his first full term in office.
He won re-election in 2004, defeating retired Columbus Police Maj. Robert Taylor in a race shadowed by the fatal shooting one year earlier of Kenneth Walker, who was killed by a sheriff's deputy after the Chevrolet Yukon in which Walker was riding was pulled over during a drug investigation. No drugs were found in the vehicle.
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Johnson has been with the sheriff's office for nearly 30 years, having served as a deputy and chief deputy before becoming sheriff.