Three GOP Candidates Eyeing Lincoln County Sheriff Opening

TEA, S.D. — In less than a month Lincoln County will be one step closer to having a new sheriff. The spot will soon be open after Sheriff Dennis Johnson announced he’s retiring.

Four people are currently eyeing the spot – three are republican candidates. The public was able to meet the 3 candidates Thursday at an open forum.

The Lincoln county sheriff’s position is opening for the first time in two decades. There’s great interest in meeting the candidates hoping to be the next one in charge.

With a full crowd the GOP candidates Capt. Jason Gearman with the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s office, Lincoln County Deputy Jim Severson and Sgt. Steve Swenson with the S.D. Highway Patrol answered hot topics with timed answers.

They all agreed on stopping the growing opioid epidemic, support of the 2nd amendment and changing of Marsy’s law.

“I think that both with guns and drugs we need to spend a lot of time interacting with the kids, so they are comfortable dealing with law enforcement,” says Severson.

Each candidate has more than 20 years of law enforcement experience. They all praised Sheriff Johnson, who was also in attendance, for the  foundation already set for the department.

“I deal with the same problems in Minnehaha County that Lincoln County and any other county deals with it. I just deal with it on a higher basis.We have more of it because of the population and the city of Sioux Falls,” says Gearman.

“The number one goal will be to meet with the staff. Find out what is driving them. Find out what their issues are. Finding out what the issues are out in the county and to work as a team to make Lincoln County safer,” says Swenson.

However the candidates did disagree on if teachers should carry guns in school. Come the primary election they don’t just want you to vote for them for the job, they say they want you to hire them.

Canton’s Police Chief, David Miller, is running as an independent candidate. His name will be on the ballot in November.

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