COVER: Sheriff Gary Cutler addresses northeastern Hays County residents as former sheriff and Texas Ranger Tommy Ratliff (right) listens. Hosted by the Kyle-Buda Republican Group, the debate was moderated by Kyle City Council member Damon Fogley (center).
FROM STAFF REPORTS
KYLE — Meeting his opponent face-to-face on the eve of early voting, Sheriff Gary Cutler said at the outset that he intended to keep discussion focused on policy issues facing Hays County’s largest law enforcement agency.
“What I think we need to do — what we haven’t been doing the last several weeks — is talk about the issues this county faces. Right now, Hays County is No. 1. Of 254 counties, we’re the fastest-growing county in Texas. We need to talk about the issues,” Cutler told the Kyle-Buda Republican Group on Monday in his opening remarks.
For the next half-hour or so, Cutler (R-Driftwood) and former sheriff Tommy Ratliff (R-Kyle) jousted about the cause of deputy shortages; whether the county needs a new jail; changes to state laws that permit open carry and campus carry; and national unrest over use of force by police officers.
Which isn’t to say the Kyle forum was a friendly reunion for the sheriff and the former sheriff. Indeed, the tension between the two lawmen was palpable throughout their exchange.
Due to technical problems, several minutes of footage is missing from this video. The San Marcos Mercury is working to recover video of the entire debate. In the meantime, here is audio of the debate’s second half including missing portions: