Sheriff's Contests Abound On Primary Ballots

Mar 10, 2014

The March 18 primary election in northern Illinois includes several contests for the office of county sheriff. The number of hopefuls varies significantly, with a high of seven candidates in Winnebago County, where incumbent Democrat Richard Meyers will not be running for re-election.

Democratic candidates are:

  • Randal L. Olson has held positions with the FBI, DEA, Homeland Security, Illinois State Police, and the Secret Service. Olson has worked in Winnebago County law enforcement since 1980.  His campaign website is
  • Robert (Bob) Redmond was the previous supervisor for the Rockford, Ill., Hostage Negotiation Team until retiring in Dec. 2011. Redmond has worked on more than 150 homicide cases during his career and has worked in Rockford, Ill., Law enforcement since 1977. His campaign website is
  • Jeffrey S. Schroeder is a retired sergeant from the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department. Schroeder has 36 years of related experience.
  • Glenn A. Heidenreich is currently a sergeant for the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department and a sergeant of the SWAT team and facility security director. Heidenreich is also a former U.S. Navy SEAL. His campaign website is
  • Robert C. (Bob) Springer is a retired deputy chief from the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department. Springer has 31 years of experience working for the sheriff’s department. His campaign website is

Republican candidates are:

  • Gary Caruana served as a police officer for the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department for 8 years. Caruana spent 26 years working with UPS where he became the Corporate Investigative Security Manager. His campaign website is
  • Frank Pobjecky has been a Deputy Sheriff since his appointment in 2008 and is his current career title. Pobjecky has also been County Patrol Division and a SWAT team member. His campaign website is

Bureau County

Bureau County also is showing signs of a heated race for County Sheriff as four Republican candidates seek the opportunity to face Democrat James B. Reed, who is unopposed on the primary ballot. Incumbent Democrat John E. Thompson is retiring after 11 years as County Sheriff. 

  • Allan K. Beaber was the Deputy Chief of Police for the Princeton Police Department for 13 years until his retirement in 2012. Beaber has 37 years of law enforcement experience. His campaign website is
  • William A. Rosenow has been the mayor of Sheffield for 18 years. Rosenow retired from the Illinois State Police after serving 32 years where he held the rank of sergeant.
  • Alexander M. Arauza is a state certified juvenile officer and is the school resource officer for Logan Junior High School and the Princeton High School. His campaign website is
  • James A. Shipp is the Commander of the Bureau County Sheriff's Office. Shipp has 15 years of experience working for the Village of DePue where he held the rank of Sergeant, and currently has 7 years serving as a patrolman for the Village of Tiskilwa. His campaign website in

Ogle County

Two candidates are opposing incumbent Republican Sheriff Michael R. Harn in the primary election. They criticize the department’s professionalism and Harn’s handling of the office. There are no current Democratic candidates.

  • Michael R. Harn has been the current County Sheriff of Ogle County since 2010. Harn has worked in Ogle County law enforcement since 1985. His campaign website is
  • Brian E. Vanvickle is currently a member of the Rochelle Township High School Board of Education. Vanvickle spent 13 years as a fixed operations manager for Krahenbuhl Chrysler Jeep. His campaign website is
  • Joe Drought is a law enforcement administrator with more than 30 years of law enforcement experience. Drought has been the Chief of the Rock Valley College Police Department for more than 16 years. His campaign website is

Kendall County

Three Republican candidates are seeking the office of Sheriff to replace Republican Richard Randall, who is retiring after 28 years tenure in the post. There are no current Democratic candidates.

  • Steven Eaves is currently Chief of Police in Plano. He has 28 years of law enforcement experience. His campaign website is
  • Dwight Baird has been the Oswego Police Chief since 2003, and was named 2014 Police Chief of the Year by the Illinois State Crime Commission. He has 23 years of law enforcement experience. His campaign website is
  • Jeffrey S. “Jeff” Christiansen has more than 18 years of experience with the DuPage County sheriff’s office. He is an administrative sergeant as Director of Training, Grant Manager and Accreditation Manager for the Law Enforcement division. His campaign website is

Kane County

Two Republicans will be looking to claim the soon-to-be-vacant seat from incumbent Democrat Patrick Perez. Both Republican candidates ran in opposition in two previous terms and lost to Perez. Perez will not be running for re-election. Willie M. Mayes, Sr., is the lone Democrat who has filed for the seat. The sheriff’s department has come under fire recently due to the continuing battle to subdue the county’s heroin problem.

  • Kevin Williams is currently a Lieutenant of Community Policing and Crime Prevention. Williams has worked with the Kane County Sheriff’s Office for more than 20 years. His campaign website is
  • Donald E. Kramer has worked with the Kane County Sheriff’s Office since 1979. Kramer became the community policing lieutenant for Central Kane County in 2006. His campaign address is

Boone County

Two Republicans will be competing for Duane Wirth’s current position as County Sheriff. Wirth, 72, is retiring from the position after 36 years. There are no current Democratic candidates.

  • David M. Ernest has worked with the Belvidere Police Department since 1986. Ernest is currently the Deputy Chief of Operations. His campaign website is
  • Philip Beu is a retired Lieutenant of Operations. Beu has held several positions during his 32 years career with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office. His campaign website is

Lee County

Two Republicans will be running for County Sheriff. Republican John C. Simonton will be competing against incumbent Republican John R. Varga for the sheriff’s office. There are currently no Democratic candidates.

  • John C. Simonton has 31 years of law enforcement experience. Simonton worked with Illinois State Police from 1984 until his retirement in 2010. Before Simonton’s retirement he became the Operations Lieutenant and Commander of the SWAT unit. His campaign website is
  • John R. Varga is the current sheriff of Lee County. Varga has held the title of sheriff since 2006.Varga possesses 19 years of experience in criminal justice. His campaign website is

McHenry County

Two Republican candidates hoping to replace retiring incumbent Keith Nygren as Sheriff. There are no Democratic candidates.

  • William "Bill" Prim is a retired commander with 27 years of law enforcement experience. Prim has worked with the Des Plaines Police Department since 1985. His campaign website is
  • Andrew "Andy" Zinke is currently the McHenry County undersheriff. Zinke has worked with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office since 1989. His campaign website is

Putnam County

Putnam County Democrat Kevin J. Moore is set on ending incumbent Democrat Kevin L. Doyle’s role as County Sheriff. Doyle is seeking a fifth term. There are no Republican candidates.

  • Kevin J. Moore has been the Granville Chief of Police since 1996. Moore has 23 years of law enforcement experience.
  • Kevin L. Doyle has been Putnam County Sheriff since 1998. Doyle has worked with Putnam County law enforcement since 1993.