PONTIAC — In the last seven months, Livingston County has had three official sheriffs. A fourth could be sworn in this December.
Livingston County Sheriff Marty Meredith was elected in 2010, but resigned in September to pursue a business opportunity out of state following an 18-month investigation into alleged wrongdoing.
He named his chief deputy, Tony Childress, to succeed him temporarily, but the County Board then designated former Pontiac Police Chief Al Lindsey to hold the office until after the Nov. 4 election.
Now, Childress is one of four Republican candidates running in the March 18 primary for the office. No Democrats have filed to run.
During the campaign, Childress has touted his 23 years of continuous law enforcement service to Livingston County.
"Honesty, professionalism, integrity and a devotion to duty were my attributes and still are," he said. "I will always treat our officers and our citizens fair."
Marvin Rutledge served eight years as sheriff, from December 1994 through December 2002. Now he wants his old job back.
"I believe the officers of this department need leadership and stability," he said. "I will bring proven leadership and stability to the position. I will be accountable to all citizens."
Former Fairbury Police Chief Jack Wiser notes his 25 years in law enforcement. If elected sheriff, his first priority would be to meet with department employees and gain their trust in order to have a solid working relationship with them, he said.
"You have to be fair, be firm, and have integrity," he said. "If you do that, you will be successful."
Mark Scott says he may not have the administrative experience, but he said he believes his 30 years as a Dwight police officer will serve him well in the position.
"The top priorities would be to work within the budget and work on the drug problem in our county," he said. "We would get down to the basics and treat people honest and fair."
Two Republicans also are up for Logan County sheriff in the primary. Incumbent Steve Nichols is running for his fourth term as sheriff and said a lot has been accomplished in his previous three terms.
"We had to overhaul the department in my first term, addressing some internal problems, and bringing the jail into compliance with state regulations," he said.
Lincoln Deputy Police Chief Mike Geriets said his lifelong dream has been to been to lead either the Lincoln Police Department or the Logan County Sheriff's Department.
"You can trust that I will do everything in my power to ensure the safety and security of citizens, our schools, our children, and businesses of our county," he said.