Williamson County Sheriff's Office

Retired Wilco Chief Mike Gleason running against Sheriff Chody

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Retired Williamson County Sheriff's Office Chief Mike Gleason submitted paperwork Friday to run for the position of Williamson County Sheriff.

Gleason is running in the Democratic Primary to face Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody in November 2020. Chody, a Republican, was elected to the role in 2016. 

He argued his 24 years of experience in the department, many of those as Chief Deputy, "supervising every unit" and working on countless department budgets makes him qualified for the position.

"I'm more than qualified to hold the position," he said. "I believe I can do good if elected."

Gleason is the principal and co-owner of BUBBL, an Austin-based ridesharing company that only allows current or retired law enforcement to become drivers.

Gleason retired in 2017 but claims he took the retirement to avoid being fired because Chody was pushing out critics and "firing over 200 people who didn't need to be fired so he could bring in his friends from (the Austin Police Department)."

When asked about his vision for the department, Gleason exclusively focused on changes by Chody that he would reverse or alter. He said he would particularly like to see the office's mental health unit rebuilt and grown, and the office to grow its relationship with the school districts in the county, particularly with improving school safety.

When asked what new ideas he would bring to the table, Gleason said he didn't have any particular in mind because he believes "whoever gets elected, it's going to take them at least two years just trying to get the department to an operational level."

Chody, in a written response to the announcement, said, "I welcome my Democrat opponent to the race. We have a tremendous record of keeping crime out of Williamson County. We have a significantly lower violent crime rate than all six of the counties that surround us – urban or rural. Williamson County is only 2% of the State’s population, but we have 3 of the top 15 safest cities in Texas. And we are getting even better. I will be interested to hear in the campaign what my new opponent wants to change about that."

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