Letter to the editor: Negative politics plays role in Monroe County Sheriff campaign

By JEREMY LIKELY | Tomah

When I decided to run for Monroe County Sheriff, I was fully aware that I would be subjecting myself to both triumphs and challenges throughout the campaign period and beyond. One of the main reasons I decided to run for sheriff is because I have witnessed jail employees being treated like they are disposable. When I worked at the jail, I observed hard-working employees turn in their uniforms and walk out that door because they did not feel valued and were treated poorly by management. Instead of having their strengths valued and their efforts appreciated, their weaknesses were made public and their shortcomings exploited.

Recently, my opponent in the race for sheriff has decided to take that same approach with me. He has dedicated his time and effort to attempt to insult my integrity and exploit the confidential situation in which I resigned from the Monroe County jail, rather than focus on how he can improve the county by being sheriff.

I will not be plagued by a “smear campaign,” and I have not and will not let these deceitful claims hinder my decision to run for sheriff. I am more than willing to admit that I am not a perfect person and that I have made mistakes both personally and professionally. However, I have never allowed my mistakes to define who I am or who I am going to be. I have taken full responsibility for my actions and have applied my experiences as life lessons.

I am an individual who has dedicated my life from a young age to being a public servant and an individual dedicated to serving others. As a 13-year resident of Tomah and the current police chief of Wilton, I am committed to the citizens of Monroe County. I live here, work here and have made my life here and will continue to fulfill my duties regardless of the outcome of this election.

I never set out to be a politician, and I never expected my reputation be laced with false accusations. I set out to be the sheriff that Monroe County needs: an individual with integrity, esteem and the courage to speak up when a situation is inaccurate.

The people of Monroe County deserve a sheriff who treats individuals with dignity and respect, exhibits ethical and professional characteristics, has an excellent working relationship with law enforcement, and can overcome adversity and stay focused. I truly believe that I have not only the qualifications, but also the demeanor required to be the next sheriff of this county.

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