Riley Hodges will make a second attempt at becoming Franklin County sheriff.

Hodges’ candidacy sets up a rematch with Sheriff Bill Overton, who won 52 percent of the vote when the two last faced off in 2015. Overton announced in February that he would seek reelection.

Hodges, 43, began his career with law enforcement when he joined the county sheriff’s office in 1998. He resigned in April 2015, which Hodges said at the time was encouraged by Overton. Hodges said he joined the Roanoke Police Department, where he currently serves as a detective, in 2017.

The 2015 election was a close one, Hodges said, and he decided not long after the loss that he’d seek the office again.

“I’m looking to get in to do the job of sheriff there, which is protect the citizens of the county and their best interests,” Hodges said.

If elected, Hodges said he’d like the sheriff’s office to work more closely with other county law enforcement agencies, such as police in Rocky Mount, Boones Mill and at Ferrum College.

“It’s a team effort,” Hodges said. “It doesn’t matter what color your uniform is, what shape your badge is, it’s for the protection of the citizens and everybody’s got to work together.”

Hodges also said he’d work to minimize turnover at the sheriff’s office, noting that recruiting and training new officers comes at a cost.

Hodges, a lifelong Franklin County resident, first became interested in pursing a career in law enforcement while a student at Ferrum College. He studied criminal justice, and served as a student employee of the college police department.

Hodges also said he is a certified instructor with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and has taught at a number of police academies.

The county voter registrar’s office confirmed that Hodges has filed paperwork to be on the ballot Nov. 5. The filing deadline is June 11.

Though Hodges originally filed as an independent, he said the Franklin County Republican Committee chose him as its candidate at a recent meeting. The registrar’s office said Hodges is now a qualified Republican candidate. Hodges also ran as a Republican in 2015.

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