A former captain with the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office announced Monday he is running against Sheriff Robert Arnold in the 2014 election.
Former Capt. Mike Fitzhugh, who recently retired from the department, is entering the race as a Republican Party candidate for the office of sheriff of Rutherford County.
In a written statement, Fitzhugh said he will focus on restoring leadership and cost efficiency to the Sheriff's Office, which he claims has been lacking every since Arnold was elected to the position.
“A new leader is needed for sheriff," Fitzhugh said. "A sheriff who will introduce measures to stop the wasteful spending of our citizens’ hard earned tax dollars. A sheriff who will restore leadership and work within approved budgetary levels.”
Fitzhugh has reviewed budgets from the last several years at the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, and noted that excessive spending and unnecessary waste have become commonplace under the current administration.
“I will prepare for our citizens a budget that is based on factual, proven needs, not wants, and then live wholly within that budget,” he said. "I will make administrative decisions that are supported by sound business principles and law. This change will equal efficiency."
During his 25 years in management at BellSouth, Fitzhugh was responsible for business operations in locations from Nashville to New Orleans and was instrumental in managing labor relations, marketing services and district operations.
Following early retirement from BellSouth, Fitzhugh joined the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office in 1994, rising quickly to positions of leadership as sergeant, lieutenant and captain.
While serving as captain of the Communications Division, Fitzhugh oversaw the $500,000 state-of-the-art communications center that currently in use at the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
Fitzhugh and his wife, Janice, live in Rutherford County, and are members of The First Baptist Church.
Fitzhugh graduated from Murfreesboro Central High School and earned a bachelor's degree in business from Middle Tennessee State University. He was active as a 10-year volunteer with the Rutherford County Rescue Squad, serving as director for four years.