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In their words: Candidates for sheriff | Jeff Asher
The Journal invited the five candidates for sheriff to tell you, in 400 words or less, what you need to know about what they will do as our top cop. Here are their guest columns.
Jeff Asher: ‘My ideas represent your vision for public safety’
I would like to take this opportunity to talk about how this election fits into the great experiment in democracy that we started in 1776.
Anyone who has been following the contest for sheriff knows that this has been a tough run for me, as some in the Sheriff’s Department have kept up a steady stream of formal and informal attacks on me, my family, and my candidacy.
It is true that as a long-time advocate for improved public safety, I am a lighting rod that attracts high voltage attacks from anyone invested in the status quo. It is a measure of the seriousness of their stance that of the six deputies who publicly supported me in my 2002 run against Bill Cumming, exactly none are left working for the department.
As we mail in our primary ballots, what I would like everyone to consider is this: When any election has involved a stark contrast of paths forward, the election tactics have always become rough and tumble. Look around at what is going on in the House and Senate races this fall, or historically consider that what candidates like Lincoln and FDR endured. Those races make our campaign civilized by contrast.
As ugly as they can sometimes become, high-stakes elections are at the core of the American democratic process. When we put our hands on our hearts and say, “… and to the republic for which it stands …” this process, mud and all, is what we are promising to uphold.
No voter should blanch or turn away from voting simply because it is hot in the electoral kitchen. Instead, take an hour to learn about each candidate. Learn what each candidate says about their own skills and ideas — discount heavily what detractors say or write as they are the last people who can fairly represent a candidate. Then vote for the candidate who best represents your own vision for public safety on these islands.
I think my ideas represent that future, and I ask for your vote. My campaign is about getting drugs out of our community, community policing, a Citizens Advisory Board, a Reserve Officer Corps, aggressive pursuit of grants, prudent budgeting and cooperation with other agencies.
Win or lose, when these ideas are implemented, my supporters and I will be able to look at each other and say, “Well done!”