I normally don’t blog on local elections, but a couple of e-mails have come my way regarding our local county sheriff’s election.

The Democratic candidate for Polk County Sheriff is Bill McCarthy.  He is currently the chief deputy in the Sheriff’s Department.  Before that he retired as the Chief of the Des Moines Police Department.  He has extensive law enforcement experience.  His position on issuing carry permits is agreeable with 2nd amendment proponents.

His challenger is Linda Ripley.  She was the chaplain for the Polk County Jail.  She also shares McCarthy’s position on carry permits.  One e-mail sent to me was an endorsement of McCarthy, and the following e-mail was sent in reply.  I will keep the sender anonymous.

Just saw your promo for Bill McCarthy to be our next sheriff.  You know, of course, that his son is Kevin McCarthy, the statehouse Democrat thug.  You probably also know that the woman he’s running against is a strong believer and also supports the right to carry. Have you asked her? Linda Ripley has been a chaplain at the jail and is a proven administrator which is what the sheriff really is.  He’s not a law enforcement officer.  He’s a paper pusher with a whole lot of responsibility for the administration of the dept. and especially the jail.  Just thought you’d like to know. I think you are riding the wrong horse.  Since he’s part of the democrat machine in Polk Co., he’ll most likely swamp her, but he doesn’t deserve any Christian votes.

Several thoughts went through my mind.  One being does a person vote for a person because she is “a strong believer” as being the main qualifier?  Why are we making the election of our sheriff a major partisan issue?  Shouldn’t we leave politics out this (ideal) and focus on the qualifications that really matter?  Law enforcement, the fact this person will have to transition to a new jail, etc.  Will he uphold the law?  Will he do his due diligence to protect and serve? 

I don’t want to put Linda Ripley down I’ve met her and she’s a great lady, but frankly she lacks experience in law enforcement and isn’t qualified.  How can somebody without law enforcement experience lead a law enforcement agency?  I know of her ministry as a chaplain and still don’t see how she’s qualified.  I’m also wondering how who the Democratic candidate’s son is matters (he’s my state rep and I am voting for his challenger)?  I also wonder what issues the sheriff is involved with that touch on issues that the Church gives voice to (abortion, gay marriage, poverty, etc.)?

I think of this way.  Some counties still have coroner elections.  We don’t we have a medical examiner, a non-elected post.  Say we have a non-Christian guy who has an M.D. and forensic pathology training and experience.  The challenger is say me who dissected a cat during my college basic human anatomy class.  My other qualification is that I am a faithful watcher of CSI, CSI Miami, CSI NY, and NCIS.  Should you vote for me because I’m a Christian?  Because I am pro-life and am against gay marriage?  Forget the fact those issues have absolutely nothing to do with the job, or perhaps you don’t care so much about my faith but you do care that I’m a Republican – is that ok?

I guess if McCarthy has ethics issues, if he wasn’t going to enforce the laws like he should, if he was hated by the deputies and staff in the Sheriff’s Department, or if he talked of axing the Polk County Jail Ministry I would reconsider my position.  If they both had equal experience and training or close to it, then I would think differently.

But is specialized elections like this, character does count, but competency and experience does as well.  What do you think?

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