AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - An Augusta County Sheriff candidate held a press conference on Monday to "set the record straight."

Republican Neil Kester says his campaign has been consumed by the controversy surrounding Sheriff Donald Smith's involvement with a criminal suspect. Kester says he sought out the facts for himself and is concerned about what he refers to as Smith's unethical behavior. However, Kester says he played no part in bringing this to light and says he wants to get back to running a positive campaign.

"I am going to continue to run a positive campaign which highlights my platform and I promise to run the Augusta County Sheriff's Office with honesty, integrity, transparency, and ethics which the citizens of Augusta County deserve," Kester said.

Kester also pointed to an issue with a search warrant that impacted a criminal prosecution and says victims in this case were denied justice, which he says is unacceptable.

In a release Tuesday, Sheriff Donald Smith says this case is still pending and the issue is a legal matter and not a competency issue.