By Brittany Llorente
MARTIN COUNTY - Leaving his District 82 House of Representatives seat behind, William Snyder set his sights on the Martin County Sheriff position.
Those dreams came true on election night, Aug. 14, as he garnered 11,702 votes and beat three other Republicans for the job held for 20 years by Robert Crowder.
Rep. Snyder has 33 years experience in law enforcement and served for 20 years in the Miami-Dade Police Department. In 1993, he joined the Martin County Sheriff's Office as a captain and chief criminal investigator for criminal and narcotics investigations. He was promoted to major in 2001 and director of the department of law enforcement in Martin County.
"I have been in law enforcement all my life," Rep. Snyder said. "It's my first love and first passion. (Being sheriff), I can't think of a better way to serve the community."
Election night came down to three official candidates David Dees, John "Ski" Pietruszewski and Rep. Snyder. With 46.26 percent of the vote, Rep. Snyder was the winner.
"When I realized I won, I was exhilarated," Rep. Snyder said. "There was a mixture of exhilaration and a humbling experience that I really would be responsible for the safety of the community."
Rep. Snyder will be sworn in in January.
"I'll go from being a policymaker to being an executive," Rep. Snyder said.
With the new position come plans for a better sheriff's department, not only to be the best department, but to be a trendsetter.
"I want the sheriff's office to maintain its reputation of being tough on crime," he said. "But I also want the highest level of professionalism and ethics that come with highly trained men and women. I want people to follow our example."
For those who are skeptical of Rep. Snyder filling the shoes as sheriff, he hopes when they watch the performance of the sheriff's office, they will be pleased and satisfied.
"They'll find that they are well protected by the sheriff's office," he said. "It will be a collaborative effort with the public and the agency."