JAY – The Delaware County Sheriff’s race heated up quickly after one candidate questioned the requirement legitimacy of another candidate.

James Beck, acting sheriff, filed a petition on April 19 contesting the candidacy of Edwin Hoss Turlington.

A hearing on Beck’s petition is set for 10 a.m. on Wednesday at the Delaware County Election Board in Jay.

Both men along with a third candidate, Ray Thomas, are seeking the sheriff’s post. All the candidates are on the Republican ticket and will square off for the June 28 primary election.  

Beck’s petition cites Turlington’s lack of law enforcement experience saying Turlington does not have “four years as a duly certified peace officer.”  

Turlington is retired from Oklahoma’s 45th Infantry Brigade and a former military police officer, paratrooper, and security officer, according to this candidate biography.

A “peace officer shall mean a full-time duly appointed or elected officer who is paid for working more than twenty-five (25) hours per week and whose duties are to preserve the public peace, protect life and property, prevent crime, serve warrants, and enforce state, federal or military laws and local ordinances of this state or any political subdivision thereof,” Beck’s petition states.

The Delaware County Commissioners named Beck sheriff in December due to the resignation of former Sheriff Mark Berry.