Hays Sheriff Incumbent Gary Cutler Wins Republican Nomination

todayMarch 1, 2016 23

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By Sarah Bey & Jacquelyn Carter
News Reporters

Gary Cutler. Photo via Hays County Website
Gary Cutler. Photo via Hays County Website

The votes for the Hays County Sheriff Primary are in.

Rodrigo Amaya was the only democratic candidate running and received over 6,100. However, Incumbent Sheriff Gary Cutler secured his position with Republicans, where he garnered over 6,400  votes against opponent Tommy Ratliff, who came in a close overall third with about 3,400 votes.

Gary Cutler, 65, is a native Texan from Hutchins. Cutler graduated from Sam Houston University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He moved to Buda with his wife and their two sons in 1987 and currently resides in Driftwood.

Cutler has served the central Texas area for over 26 years with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, three years with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, and over six years as a State Police Officer with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Cutler has over nine years of supervision and management skills.

He has served as the Hays County Sheriff since November 2010. Since Cutler assumed office, he renewed areas of the Hays County Sheriff’s Office including the jail facility, inmate procedures, and personnel management. Cutler’s two main jail facility initiatives were called “Lead from the Front” and “Take it Back.”

In “Lead from the Front,” Cutler restored the physical prison facility by using prisoner labor as well as donated and low cost materials. Renovation in the prison included: the maintenance shop, jail piping system, loading dock, holding cell, and the removal of a landfill behind the jail. In “Take it Back,” Cutler conducted a shakedown of the jail and confiscated contraband in the process. The shakedown was accomplished in eight hours with joint efforts from the Hays County Sheriff’s Department, the San Marcos Police Department, and the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. Both of the initiatives increased safety for employees and inmates.

Sheriff Cutler also helped implement a new policy that requires medical clearance prior to prisoner booking. According to a sheriff’s office information release, it was estimated that this new policy of not outsourcing prisoner housing saved Hays County residents $500,000 per year. Cutler also established an inmate work program where inmates pick up trash along roadways and work on other community projects.

Rodrigo Amaya is a former state trooper on the Texas Border, police officer, and city marshal in Lockhart. He graduated from the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Police Academy with honors and also received awards in marksmanship and defensive tactics from the City of Austin’s 102nd Police Academy. 

Amaya’s main platform is police reform. Over the years police officers have been known to use unnecessary force on women and mentally ill. Amaya believes the ways to fix these problems is to reform the screening and training of local police officers. He believes the implementation of his ideas will make police officers serve the diverse communities better.

Previously in 2010, Sheriff Cutler defeated the then Democratic candidate Tommy Ratliff. After Ratliff lost, he decided to switch to the republican ticket in 2012 and again ran and lost to Cutler. This election is the third time the candidates faced each other and Cutler said the Hays County population surge is the biggest issue facing the sheriff’s office.


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