Calico reinstates campaign for Forrest Co. Sheriff

By HASKEL BURNS,

A candidate for the post of Forrest County Sheriff who suspended his campaign about two weeks ago has reversed his decision and announced he will continue to actively campaign at least until the Aug. 6 primary election.

In a Wednesday Facebook post, Nick Calico said he is reinstating his campaign because of overwhelming support encouraging him to again actively participate in the race.

“With the many qualifications, experience and leadership I have in my 22 years of law enforcement, I believe it would be a disservice to Forrest County if I did not continue to fight to be your next sheriff,” he said. “With that being said, I have decided to reinstate my campaign and continue to lay out my vision for Forrest County Sheriff as we move forward.

“I continue to ask for your prayers and support as we continue this journey.”

Calico, who is the son-in-law of current Sheriff Billy McGee, suspended his campaign earlier this month because of a lack of support.

“I have heard time and time again campaigning that my personal life as to whom I am related to is a big issue for the lack of support,” said Calico, who is married to McGee’s daughter. “For that I am not sorry.

“I love my wife very much and she has been my biggest supporter throughout this entire campaign. I did not marry her because of her last name or who she was related to. I want to thank those of you that have supported me.”

Calico’s name will appear on the primary ballot along with candidates T.G. “Jerry” Oswalt Sr., Kenny Johnson, Charlie Sims and David Bassett. Calico, Sims and Bassett are running as Republicans, while Johnson and Oswalt are running as Independent.

Calico, who formerly served as investigator at the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department, changed positions to Forrest County court liaison in October 2017 after the legality of the working relationship between Calico and McGee was brought into question. On June 2, 2017, the Mississippi Ethics Commission issued Advisory Opinion No. 17-035-E, which stated a relative of a sheriff – including a son-in-law – may not be employed by the sheriff’s office.

The opinion cited Section 25-4-105 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, which prohibits a public servant, such as a sheriff, from using his or her position to obtain, or attempt to obtain, a monetary benefit for his or her relatives. 

As court liaison, Calico works with inmates who can’t afford to make bond while they await their court date.