Longtime Montgomery County Constable Jerry Dale Bridges is seeking his ninth term November 5. Bridges is the Democratic candidate in the District 2 Constable race.
“I have been here 32 years for the citizens of Montgomery County, and I will be here four more years if they will have me,” Bridges said. “If you want to vote for experience, vote for me.”
The second-longest serving elected official in the county, Bridges was elected to the office in 1987 in an eight-man race. However, his years of serving the public date back to 1971 when he started with the Winona Fire Department. In 1979, Bridges joined the Winona Police Department, which began his long tenure in law enforcement.
“I did nine-weeks of basic training at the police academy to become a certified law enforcement officer,” Bridges said. “That was a requirement when I took office as constable in 1987, but it is no longer required.”
In 1999, Bridges was appointed interim sheriff of Montgomery County, following the retirement of Sheriff Robert Tompkins. He served nearly one year until a newly-elected sheriff could take office.
“[Current Montgomery County Coroner] Allan Pratt stood in for me as constable while I was interim sheriff, and I was unopposed in my race for constable,” Bridges said.
For his service as Montgomery County Sheriff and a string of significant drug arrests during his administration, Bridges received the National Drug Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2000 from the National Constables Association, and the next year, he was named National Constable of the Year. He is one of the few constables in Mississippi to have received a national award, much less two national awards.
“Honestly, I thought receiving those awards were as much of an honor for the county as for me,” Bridges said. “Being recognized on the national level elevates the entire community, and I am proud of that.”
Bridges is an active leader on the state level, especially in the Mississippi Constables Association.
“I was president of the Mississippi Constable Association from 2000-2003,” Bridges said. “I am currently vice president of the state association for the Central District.”
Through the state association and the Mississippi Association of Court Clerks, Bridges has banked hundreds of hours of continuing education. He has even taken home several statewide awards as Montgomery County Constable, including 29 Top Gun shooting trophies.
In seeking a ninth term, Bridges said he wants to continue helping the citizens of Montgomery County.
“I like being able to help people,” Bridges said. “I know a lot of these kids and the kids before them, and I like to be there for them. I serve for the people, and not just the people in my district. If they have a need, they can just call me, and I will do what I can to help. I’m a people person.”
Married to Cindy Bridges, Bridges said his 35-year marriage and his family give him extreme pride. He is the proud father of three daughters, Daphne McClain, Dana Smith, and Brandi Holly, and nine grandchildren. He also has four great-grandchildren. He said he is known as “Papaw” to several dozen “adopted” grandchildren around the community, another source of immense pride.
“I encourage all Montgomery County voters to go cast ballots on November 5,” Bridges said. “Even if I am not their choice candidate, I want everyone to turn out and exercise their right to vote. It is so important.”
Bridges said he welcomes calls from anyone with questions, comments, or concerns. He can be reached at 662-230-3099.
Paid for by Jerry Dale Bridges