By Dave Vrbas
The Wauneta Breeze
Randy Jordan has officially thrown his hat into the ring, running against former boss Tim Sutherland for his position as Chase County Sheriff.
Jordan, 25, traveled from Fairfield, where he currently serves as a Clay County Sheriff’s deputy and Fairfield’s Chief of Police, to Imperial on Monday to get his name officially placed on May’s primary ballot.
Citing a desire to return to Chase County as his main reason for filing, Jordan also said there are some things he’d like to change about how the sheriff’s office is currently being run.
“I love this county and I miss it so much,” Jordan said on Monday afternoon. “I had to leave to get the experience and training I needed to be able to do the job of sheriff. Now I’m ready to come back and make a difference.”
Quick to credit Sutherland — his lone opponent in the race so far — for his foray into law enforcement, Jordan said there’s still much that needs to be changed about how the department is being run.
“Tim Sutherland gave me a chance to get into law enforcement and I’ll forever be appreciative of that opportunity,” Jordan explained. “I cannot imagine doing anything else now.”
Promising a ‘take-charge, 24-7 coverage approach’ if elected, Jordan said his experience on the sheriff’s department a couple years ago gave him a firsthand glance at areas that are in obvious need of improvement.
Of the areas he’d like to personally strengthen, Jordan cited D.A.R.E. and TeamMates as programs that need to be revamped to reach out to area youth. “There’s a substance abuse problem across the board, alcohol and other drugs, but youth is where you start,” he said.
One of his goals, if elected, is to get deputy officers better training to be able to better serve the county’s citizens.
Jordan said he believes the public is disgruntled because the perception is that ‘nobody cares’ or ‘nothing is being done.’ He notes a lack of training, enthusiasm, community patrolling and community relations as the concerns he’s heard from the county’s residents.
Jordan a McCook native
After attending Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland following graduation from McCook High School in 2003, Jordan lived in Wauneta for three years, working for Bob and Mindi Goings at Advanced Automotive. After working there for three years, he said he then talked to Sutherland about an open spot at the sheriff’s department in 2007.
After graduating from the Law Enforcement Training Center in 2007, Jordan worked for less than a year for Sutherland, leaving the department for south-central Nebraska at that time.
There he has served the Fairfield area for two years.
Jordan said Clay County Sheriff Jeff Franklin supports his run for the local sheriff’s office here and credits Franklin for being an incredible mentor and teacher.
“He supports me all the way, but he hopes I lose,” Jordan joked.
So far, Jordan and Sutherland are the only two names on the ballot for sheriff and both are registered Republicans.
The filing deadline for incumbent office holders seeking re-election is on Tuesday, Feb. 16. The deadline for non-incumbents is two weeks later, on March 1.
In Chase County, all elective offices are up for election with the exception of the District 1 seat on the County Board of Commissioners, to which Chuck Vette was elected in 2008.
Nebraska’s primary election will be held on Tuesday, May 11. The last day to register as a voter in order to to be eligible to vote in the primary is May 3.
Article on Sutherland to
be published next week
In the interest of equal space, an article about current Sheriff Tim Sutherland’s background, experience and comments will be published in The Imperial Republican next week.