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Sheriff Szabo? A tyrant in the making

August 24. 2012 1:37AM

Hillsborough County Sheriff candidate Frank Szabo's campaign platform is enough to disqualify him for the office he seeks. Not many voters, though, probably read into the details of a candidate's positions. Fortunately, Szabo opened his mouth this week and made clear to all just how unfit for the office he is.

In an interview with WMUR-TV that aired Wednesday, Szabo said there is a difference between 'legal' and 'lawful' activity. Legal is what the law says is legal, but lawful is whatever Szabo thinks is morally right (this is consistent with his campaign platform). Szabo thinks a sheriff should enforce his own view of the Constitution, not the law as written. Asked if that included elective abortions, the pro-life Szabo responded that it did. Would he use deadly force to prevent a doctor from performing an elective abortion?

'Absolutely,' he said. 'Well, I would hope that it wouldn't come to that, as with any situation where someone is in danger, but again, specifically talking about elective abortions and late-term abortions, that is an act that needs to be stopped.'

Szabo on Thursday apologized for and retracted the comments. Then he tried to explain them by saying that the only reason he wouldn't shoot an abortionist caught in the act is because abortion is currently legal.

Szabo's appalling comments were no misstatement. They reflected his belief that the sheriff should enforce his own interpretation of the Constitution, not the law. Anyone with that view is wholly unfit to serve.

Crime, law and justice Politics Public Safety Editorial