Archive for Thursday, March 18, 2004

Sheriff’s officer files for top job

March 18, 2004

After wearing nearly every hat the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department has to offer, Dave Zoellner is ready to don the only one he hasn't in his 35 years with the department -- sheriff.

In a written statement released this week, Zoellner explained why he is best suited to replace current sheriff Herb Nye, who is not seeking re-election as the county's chief law enforcement officer.

"I will uphold the highest professional law enforcement standards while providing courteous, efficient and effective service to the people of Leavenworth County. I am committed to enforcing the law and protecting life and property while respecting individual rights, human dignity and community values.

"In partnership with the community, I strive to make Leavenworth County not only a safe place but also a good place to live."

As of press time, no other candidates had filed the necessary paperwork with the Leavenworth County Clerk's Office to vie with Zoellner for the sheriff's badge.

However, a potential candidate is Gene Tomrell. Tomrell said he hopes to file by the first of April. He's currently collecting signatures on a petition.

Tomrell retired from the Leavenworth Police Department in March 2002 after serving 29 years.

The deadline for candidates to file for office is noon Thursday, June 10.

If necessary, a primary election will take place Aug. 3. The general election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Zoellner, 57, a Democrat, has no previous political experience.

However, he said his law enforcement resume, which includes working under three different sheriffs -- Nye, Terry Campbell and Dan Hawes -- provides ample experience of his preparation to take over the position.

"I have experience in all phases of the department, including the jail, communications, patrol, investigations and administration," Zoellner said in his statement.

Nye said he supports Zoellner's bid to become the county's next sheriff.

During his tenure with the sheriff's department, Zoellner has served as the department's personnel, training and range officer. In 1994, he was assigned to Leavenworth County's multi-jurisdictional drug task force and served as task force project director in 1996.

In 2001, he received an award as Leavenworth County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Zoellner is a lifelong Leavenworth resident.

In other election news:

  • One candidate has filed to run for the second district Leavenworth County Commission seat currently held by Bob Adams. Larry Dedke has filed the necessary paperwork to seek the position, according to the county clerk's office.

The second district includes areas in Leavenworth. Adams is not seeking re-election.

  • No candidates have filed to run for the third district seat, which covers Basehor, Tonganoxie and southern Leavenworth County. Current third district commissioner Joe Daniels is not seeking re-election.

Tonganoxie developer Dean Oroke, who served as a county commissioner from 1985 to 1989, is contemplating a run for the third district seat. He recently said he hopes to decide in the next few weeks whether he will run.

The Tonganoxie Mirror contributed to this report.

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