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As a resident of McLean County, I am very interested in the current race for Mclean County sheriff.

The sheriff is essential in ensuring the safety of the citizens, especially those in rural areas not covered by the city police departments.

I have noticed how the candidates have conducted their campaigns and I have been listening to their messages. Thus far, two things have arisen that have convinced me to support Mike Essig.

Lt. Essig has shown that he has the highest integrity and ability to stand above the negativity that has been exhibited by the other campaign.

A letter to endorse Essig's opponent submitted by Denny Rogers, was extremely disrespectful to Lt. Essig and Sheriff Dave Owens.

It displayed the type of political campaign that I would never support. Lt. Essig shows that his character and that of his campaign is one that focuses on his strengths and the issues.

I have also noticed that Essig is not only endorsed by the current sheriff, Dave Owens, but by several men that have worked with him in supervisory positions at the Sheriff's Department.

There have been letters of endorsement from a retired lieutenant, a current lieutenant and a current sergeant in the Sheriff's Department.

He has also been endorsed by a lieutenant from the town of Normal, a member of the Normal Town Council, a former chief deputy coroner and a former County Board member.

Additionally, the president of the state Fraternal Order of Police submitted a letter of endorsement for Mike Essig. Listed on Essig's Web site are several additional names of law enforcement officials supporting him.

These are people that know Lt. Essig's reputation, work ethic, leadership style and ability to work cooperatively with others. For these reasons, Mike Essig has earned by confidence, my respect and my vote.

Patricia Powell

Bloomington

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