Taylor County Sheriff Les Bruce told a KTXS/Reporter-News runoff debate audience Tuesday that he has taken and passed a drug test administered by his family physician.
Bruce said he took and passed a drug test in mid-May, 13 days prior to the Republican primary election.
The issue of a drug test for Bruce first arose during a public debate several months ago. A questioner from the audience asked Bruce if he would take a drug test. One of his two opponents in the Republican primary, Art Casarez, refused to let the issue pass. Casarez finished third in the May primary voting.
Bruce and challenger Ricky Bishop, the Republican candidates for Taylor County Sheriff, talked about drug testing and a number of other issues Tuesday night during the live-on-tape KTXS/Abilene Reporter-News debate.
The debate is set to air at 6:30 p.m. today (Wednesday, July 18) on KTXS.
During debate questioning by KTXS News Director George Levesque and Sarah Kleiner Varble of the Abilene Reporter-News, the question came up again about why Sheriff Bruce had refused to take a drug test.
The sheriff again explained he found the question of him taking a drug test a "red herring" and called it negative campaigning. Bruce then announced, on May 16, he did take a drug test at the office of his personal physician and the results were negative.
When asked if he would make those results available to the media, he said "yes."
The Reporter-News obtained from Bruce a copy of a letter dated May 16 and signed by Dr. Rae Ann Hamilton. The letter, according to the Reporter-News, certifies Bruce tested negative for alcohol, amphetamine/methamphetamine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates and phencyclidine (PCP).
Bishop has taken and passed a drug test. Sheriff Bruce also made it clear he wants to get the subject behind him and talk about other issues.
The runoff election is Tuesday, July 31.