Murphy Painter issues statement after withdrawing from Ascension Parish Sheriff election

Staff reports

Murphy Painter issued the following statement to the Gonzales Weekly Citizen Monday.

Painter, and a third challenger to incumbent Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeffrey Wiley, have withdrawn from the race.

Wiley will remain sheriff without opposition, according to the state commissioner of elections.

From Murphy Painter:

To the wonderful people of Ascension Parish, I have spent a great deal of time this weekend contemplating the next two months of running a Sheriff’s race. Politics is mostly about timing and after much discussion with my girlfriend, family and friends, I have decided that 2011 may not the best time for me. In my 40 years of public service, I have worked and truly risked my life over and over again, as any honest law enforcement officer does,  defending the principals and rights of a most valid United States Constitution and all other principals that our religions  and the belief in a God brings to us through the Bible.  

Our individual rights, especially the one that says a person is innocent until proven guilty, is paramount in a free democratic process. I have spent my lifetime defending those principals to all people of Ascension Parish and the State of Louisiana. I am very qualified to be Sheriff and there are no issues in my past or pending that disqualify me from holding any public office. However, I have decided the negative effects and the brutality of a political race to prove that outweigh the possible benefits that such a race would invoke on my family, friends families and also the good honest members of the present Sheriff’s Office and their families at this particular moment in time. I have no personal agenda against the present Sheriff and offer nothing but good wishes to Sheriff Wiley and his staff in hopes that they will continue to serve the citizens of Ascension Parish in a most positive way.

To the people that have encouraged me to run and stood by me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. To my family, who has had very little choice, and that has also had to endured all the slings and arrows that an honest public servant has to deflect in this world, I greatly and most humbly say that I hope that you continue to understand my need to fight for honesty and the equal application of law to all people of this world, which I pledge to everyone, I plan on continuing to do in whatever capacity, until I am laid to rest. I love you all.

Murphy Painter