Warren was named interim sheriff in December 2003, when longtime Sheriff Bill Hutson retired, and then was elected to the post in 2004 and 2008.
Warren first ran against Gilstrap in 2004, when he received 66 percent to votes to Gilstrap’s 34 percent. The two faced off again in 2008, when a surge of Democrats, brought to the polls by President Barack Obama’s candidacy, lifted Gilstrap to 40 percent, still far short of Warren’s 60 percent.
Gilstrap, who lives in Austell and has 16 years of experience in law enforcement, according to his campaign website, declined to grant the Journal an interview.
According to Sept. 30 finance reports filed by each candidate, Warren has raised $31,043 in the last quarter for this election and has more than $18,100 on hand. Gilstrap has raised $1,691 this quarter and has $37.35 on hand, according to his filing.
The Cobb Sheriff oversees a $67 million annual budget and nearly 800 employees.
Warren, 65, has 35 years of experience in law enforcement, all with the Sheriff’s Office. His career started with the county in 1977 as a deputy sheriff and he worked his way up, being promoted to sergeant, lieutenant and captain.
“I’ve still got the energy, and I’ve still got the mission to continue growing the organization to meet the needs of protecting and serving citizens,” Warren said. “With my experience and education in law enforcement, I feel like I’ve still got a lot to give the citizens of Cobb County.”
Warren said the 287(g) program, in which deputies at the jail have the training and authority to investigate an inmate’s immigration status and turn over to federal authorities anyone suspected of being in the country illegally, has been “outstanding.”
“As long as I’m sheriff and 287(g) is a program and Homeland Security will partner with me, I will continue doing it,” he said.
As for his opponent, Warren said he knows very little.
“I can’t recall ever seeing him in the community except an election year,” Warren said. “I am very, very active in the community and I have been for almost 40 years.”