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Deputy Challenges Itasca Co. Sheriff in Election

Updated: 04/07/2014 10:00 AM
Created: 04/02/2014 4:11 PM WDIO.com

The election is still almost 7 months away. But two men have already announced their intent to run for Itasca County Sheriff.

One of them, is Bryan Johnson. He's currently a deputy with the department, having worked there since 2002. "I've always wanted to be sheriff. It was my plan ever since I started. I've always wanted to do it. And the timing feels right," he told us from his campaign headquarters in Bovey. "It seems like law enforcement has become about numbers, less about the care of people. I want to bring the care factor back to the community."

He's a city councilor in Bovey, and is on multiple boards, including the Western Mesabi Mine Planning Board. He and his wife and three kids live in Bovey.

"If elected, I hope to reach out to other boards and townships and leaders, and keep them updated about what's happening specifically in their area," he said.

His campaign kickoff is coming up on April 11th, at the Grand Rapids Eagles Club, from 5-8pm.

"We've got about 32 people on our campaign committee already. We're going to door knocking. The signs have been ordered. It's full steam ahead," he added.

His boss, Sheriff Vic Williams, said he's going to maintain a positive campaign. 

"My strategy is to respect everyone involved in this. If people choose to step in this direction, it's a huge commitment," he said from his office in Grand Rapids.

Williams was elected in 2010, after coming from the Deer River police department and fire department. He is still involved in his local Lions Club, but has dedicated all of his energy now to being Sheriff.

"I've really enjoyed being sheriff, and I hope to continue to be sheriff. The decisions you make have to be done with the best interest of the people in mind," he said.

When we asked him about his accomplishments, he listed several things. "I've established a K-9 unit. Lambo and Sarge are working. I'm very proud of that. And I started an Honor Guard, where we remember the fallen officers."

Also, the department is in the middle of relocating their 9-1-1 dispatch center, and upgrading it. "It's a huge project," he added.

Election Day 2014, is November 4th.

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