MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The race for Mobile County Sheriff narrows to two candidates ahead of the general election in November. The race pits a longtime sheriff’s deputy against a political newcomer. You didn’t see Labarron Perkins’s name on the ballot Tuesday, because it wasn’t there. He ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination for sheriff.

“It’s time we put politics aside and put safety first,” said Perkins arguing voters want change in the MCSO this year. Perkins already has an uphill climb, with twice as many people voting for the Republican candidate for sheriff than voted in the entire Mobile County Democratic primary. Perkins says he’s optimistic he can pull in enough independents and disaffected Republicans to win.

“Some people say the race is over, and I’ve been told there’s a shot and we can get over the top,” said Perkins. While Perkins doesn’t have experience as a sworn law enforcement officer, he says that outsider experience is needed in the Sheriff’s Office.

“It gives a different point of view and allows you to look at things from both angles that’s why it’s important,” said Perkins. Perkins says he’s studied criminal justice in college and worked in private sector security. Today he owns a small business and argues the sheriff’s office needs more transparency and deputies.

“We need to increase the law enforcement budget in Mobile county, we need to hire more deputies and look at the current hiring practice at the agency,” said Perkins.

Tuesday night saw Captain Paul Burch win a sizable majority of Republican votes to take the nomination. The longtime Mobile County Deputy won more than 80-percent of the GOP vote, handily defeating deputy Ed Albritton.