St. Mary Parish Sheriff Blaise Smith announced Tuesday that he will not seek a re-election bid because of health reasons.
"It is with a heavy heart that I must formally announce that I will not seek re-election for another term as your Sheriff," Smith posted on his Facebook page. "This decision was not an easy one, but necessary for me to focus on my current health issues."
Earlier this year the Sheriff spent nearly five months in the hospital for an undetermined illness.
Sheriff Smith stated in May, "The specific underlying cause of my condition is still unknown. However, there is a suspicion that my bout with COVID19 in December of 2021 may be causing some of the complications."
Statement from Sheriff Blaise Smith:
Dear Citizens of St. Mary Parish:
It is with a heavy heart that I must formally announce that I will not seek re-election for another term as your Sheriff. This decision was not an easy one, but necessary for me to focus on my current health issues.
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of the parish as your elected Sheriff. I hope that when I leave the office, I will have left a lasting mark on the department and its people, signifying my strong beliefs in community service, communication, and teamwork. Working with such an amazing group of people is an honor, and I owe much of my success to them.
Moving forward, I know the department is in excellent and capable hands. Should I be absent for any health-related issues, Chief Gary Driskell has and will continue to run all day-to-day activities for the department. Chief Driskell has over thirty years in law enforcement and has proven himself highly capable to continue leading the department with compassion and integrity, as he has done so for the last several months.
Through my fifty years in law enforcement, I have made memories and friendships that will never tarnish. I pray that everyone is blessed to have such a career as mine.
As I begin a new chapter in my life, I ask for your continued prayers, and, as always, peace be with you, and God bless.
Sheriff Blaise Smith
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