By SEAN RICE
Auglaize County Sheriff Larry Longsworth will be calling it
quits after spending 30 years working for the county.
Under the glow of a crowd of television cameras Thursday night,
Longsworth announced his intention to not seek re-election after
his term expires in January 2005. His announcement stole some
of the spotlight at the St. Marys Theater that was brought for
Jerry Springer, national TV personality and supporter of Democrats.
Longsworth told The Daily Standard this morning that he and
his wife decided long ago that he would retire after 30 years,
which he will have at the end of next year.
The 53-year-old sheriff also publicly chose Sgt. Al Solomon
from his office as his number one choice as a successor. The
race for the office will take place in November 2004.
“He’s the guy, he knows the operation, he can run
it. He’s definitely my choice,” the sheriff said
of Solomon, who has 25 years in the office.
Longsworth confirmed that he has heard that Cridersville Police
Chief John Drake also has intentions to run for the office.
Drake could not be reached for comment this morning.
After 15 years as a deputy, Longsworth was elected sheriff in
1988, taking over for James M. Knoch.
The sheriff said he does not have retirement plans yet, but
the Wapakoneta native said he cannot simply stop working at
54. He definitely plans to stay in the neighborhood to watch
his first, now 5-month-old, grandson grow up, he added.
“I’m pretty well anchored here, so you won’t
see me in a condo in Florida,” Longsworth said. “(Retirement)
is a good 15 months away, so I’ll be around for a while.”