Newton County will have a new sheriff next year. Longtime Sheriff Jackie Knight tells Newscenter 11 he will not seek re-election.

With no incumbent for the first time in more than 20 years, candidates are lining up for the position.

Former Newton County chief deputy, Randy Patrick, is one of the candidates who has qualified so far.

“I think that it is good to have competition, which will be great. I definitely want to run a good, clean and positive campaign,” said Patrick. “And to my opponents, ‘hey let’s do this. Let’s make a good, fun, clean race and have fun while we’re doing it’.”

Patrick hosted a news conference Thursday morning announcing his candidacy.

Three other candidates have qualified: Decatur Police Chief Joedy Pennington, Sammy Stevens and Union Police Chief Billy Pat Walker.