(10/20/06 - PLATTEVILLE, WI) - A local music store co-owner is putting a touch of Mayberry in the race for sheriff in western Wisconsin's Grant County. The former William Fenrick changed his name earlier this year to Andy Griffith the name of the actor who portrayed the fictional Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry on TV's "The Andy Griffith Show" in the 1960s.
He said his goal was to focus attention to a sheriff's race that otherwise gets little.
"Nobody knows who's running or what the issues are, if there are any issues or how the people differ," Griffith said.
He's running as an independent in the Nov. 7 election against incumbent Sheriff Keith Govier, a Republican who's held the job for 10 years, and Democrat Doug Vesperman, who's worked in the sheriff's department 16 years.
Griffith, 42, said when contacted Tuesday night that he's worked in the past in private security and knows how to set priorities and make the best use of a limited budget and manpower.
Part of his motivation, he said, came when drug officers acting on an anonymous tip launched a drug raid in Dodgeville last May but went to the wrong address, then picked up some young people in the apartment next door for having marijuana.