Rhett Butler, candidate for Sheriff of Gulf County, has obviously gained much attention with his hardcore, no nonsense approach to the eradication of methamphetamine dealers with warnings such as "busting their front door completely off its hinges" and "charge them with murder if he can connect their poison to a death by overdose."


Mr. Butler has also made a pledge to provide resources needed to help overcome drug addiction. He states that simply arresting someone with an addiction will never work, the only way to solve the "revolving door" within our jail is to heal people from drug addiction.


"People need help and I’m here to get lives back on track while removing the tremendous burden from their families and our community."


He also makes pledges to be a working sheriff, not a politician. Ensure citizens are treated with dignity and respect by law enforcement, build a bond that ensures trust within our youth while educating them on drug abuse resistance and aggressively defend our constitutional rights.


Mr. Butler has been a lifelong resident of Gulf County where he continues to serve by participating in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, various fundraisers for Special Olympics, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics and he has been an active member of the Florida Counsel on Crime and Delinquency since 2004.


Beyond his bi-weekly contribution to that organization, he has volunteered many hours to serve the citizens of Gulf County to include: Toys for Tots to Gulf County elementary schools, provide supplies to elderly citizens in Gulf County, provide Thanksgiving baskets to county citizens in need and participated in various fundraisers to help support these community programs, provide scholarships and more.


Mr. Butler is a 1999 graduate of Port St. Joe High School and a C.O.B.S. graduate from Gulf Coast Community College. Over the past 20-plus years he has received more than 2,800 hours of diverse law enforcement training to include instructor certifications in the following: Florida general instructor techniques, defensive tactics instructor, Shock Knife certification for DT instructors, defender’s mindset instructor, firearms instructor, range master, specialty impact munitions instructor, duty aerosol instructor, BLS and first aid instructor and CPR instructor.


Mr. Butler began his career with the Florida Department of Corrections in 2000, where he continues to serve with no breaks in service. He has promoted through the following ranks: correctional officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain. Throughout these ranks, he has performed many duties such as: head of the Gulf CI training department as the rank of sergeant, where he was responsible for in-service training and maintained over 600 staff training files, as well as coordinated and executed specialized training events, instructed basic standards classes, K-9 team member, rapid response team member, munitions squad team member, direct armed response team member. Since 2013, he has served in a supervisory position at Gulf CI Main Unit, Annex and Forestry Camp in the ranks of lieutenant and captain.


Prior to Hurricane Michael, as whole Gulf Correctional Institution had an annual budget of $44 million, 475 security staff positions alone and held a capacity of 3,259 inmates.


Rhett and his wife, Brittnie, a business owner in Port St. Joe, have been married for 18 years and they have four children. They are members of Long Avenue Baptist Church and do their best to serve the Lord in their home and community.


Anyone can contact Mr. Butler on Facebook or his website rhettbutler4gulfsheriff@gmail.com.