Paid political letter: What kind of sheriff do you want?

Ideas and opinions in this letter are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the stance of this paper. The author of this letter has paid for its placement.

It certainly would be instructive how people vote in elections. How many know basically nothing about the officials they elect? Maybe they heard a name or a glimpse of a TV soundbite, but that’s it?

I try to do better than that. I look, I listen, and ask a few questions. I had this in mind at our last Township Association meeting, where candidates for St. Louis County Sheriff were invited to give their pitch.

Chad Walsh was there, but Mr. Lukovsky didn’t show up but, well, it seems he’s got his hands full with his own problems at the moment, so there’s not much going on there.

Gordon Ramsay was there in fine form. I noticed from his spiel that he was from St. Louis County, went to school in Duluth and eventually became Police Chief there, before accepting a Police Chief job in Wichita six years ago. I had been hearing several interesting versions about his departure from Kansas and wanted to get his take on this, and I asked if it was so, that his stated reason for coming back to Duluth was to return to his roots and old home. He replied, yes. I then said I had heard that after his leaving Wichita, he applied for a position in Texas? He told me, No, that is not true. Huh, no position in Texas? Nope. When pressed further, Mr. Ramsay finally admitted that he had in fact applied for a position in Texas.

Interesting, that his first reaction was to say one thing, and then the opposite. He quickly added that there was more to the story - he wanted to help some aging relatives there get moved back to Minnesota … so he applied for a permanent job in Texas? Maybe this makes sense to him, but I have trouble figuring it out. The more he talked, the worse it got. It made me think of an old rhyme, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when at first we do deceive.” I had hoped for better, but then he implodes over the first question out of the box? When the people lose their trust in law enforcement, the game is over.

So, who do we want for Sheriff? One who is AWOL? One who talks out of both sides of his mouth? Or do we want one who just says it like it is, one who actually understands the document he is sworn to uphold, one who will work to provide a safe and prosperous county for all its citizens? The answer should be pretty clear. Write in “Chad Walsh” on the blank line on the bottom of your Sheriff’s ballot on Nov. 8.

Jim Hofsommer, Colvin Township Supervisor
Markham, Minn.