Calico suspends campaign for Forrest Co. Sheriff

By HASKEL BURNS,

The number of candidates actively campaigning in this year’s race for Forrest County Sheriff has dropped to four, as Nick Calico announced last week he has suspended his campaign.

Calico, who is the son-in-law of current Sheriff Billy McGee, posted on Facebook that although he still believes he is the best candidate for the office, he made the decision to suspend, in large part, because of 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.”

Although Calico’s campaign has been suspended, his name will still appear on the ballot. Other candidates are T.G. “Jerry” Oswalt Sr., Kenny Johnson, Charlie Sims and David Bassett.

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.