Sheriff Michael “Big Mac” Ryan is running for his third term as Sheriff of Gray County.
From his hometown of Shamrock, TX to his current residence in Pampa for the last 20 years, Ryan has had a lengthy career in law enforcement- but what few people know is what he did before that.
For eleven years, Ryan worked for the Texas Youth Commission as a drill instructor at a boot camp in Canadian.
“That gave me a big variety of ways to deal with kids,” he said.
“I would see hundreds of kids there every day and everybody had different aspects and different mindsets and I had to learn to talk to them. You’ve got to learn to relate to them and have a conversation with them.”
Anyone who knows Ryan could tell you that he’s quite the people-person and loves to socialize and be out in public.
“Growing up, I was always a people-person and I always wanted to be around people and I wanted to be with everybody. That’s just me.”
Once Ryan came to Pampa, he would work for the Pampa Police Department and eventually serve as the school resource officer where his reputation of a social and likeable character would shine.
“You go to a school and the kids run out and start hugging on you. There’s been times when they’ve cheered me up on my bad days and that’s just really what it’s all about.”
After his time as the school resource officer, he would become the Gray County Fire Marshall and later become the State Fire Marshall; but his passion remained with the public. That’s when he ran for Sheriff for the first time and won.
When inquired about the concern of some citizens regarding Ryan’s health, Ryan assured that he was absolutely fine.
“Some people think I’m all beat up and crippled, but I’m still the same,” he laughed.
“After I had my stroke, I had other sheriffs telling me I need to calm down and just sit at my desk.”
With a good crew behind him, Sheriff Ryan has been able to heed that advice and is appreciative of all the support he’s been given.
When asked about his opponent, Bo Lake, Ryan echoed the same sentiment as Lake during hi interview with The Pampa News- citing their history together and that they’re friends with no bad blood between them. All that matters is that the public exercises their right to vote.
“I like to tell people to just vote. It’s their right to vote and they need to vote. I’m not the kind of person to tell someone to vote for me or vote for someone else. I don’t want to put pressure on anyone.”
Voting will begin on February 20 through March 1 at the Gray County Courthouse, located at 205 N. Russell in Room 104. The last day to request a ballot by mail is Friday, February 23.