Second Democrat seeks Will sheriff post
BY BRIAN STANLEY firstname.lastname@example.org August 22, 2013 10:34PM
Will County Sheriff's Police Sgt. Mike Kelley announced Thursday he will seek the Democratic nomination for the sheriff's office next year. | Brian Stanley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 24, 2013 6:36AM
LOCKPORT — A longtime Will County sheriff’s police officer on Thursday became the second Democrat to enter the 2014 sheriff’s election.
Sgt. Mike Kelley, who has been on the department for 25 years, announced his campaign at a fundraiser attended by some top county officials at the Public Landing restaurant.
“I’ve dedicated my life to serving the citizens of Will County. I want to change how stagnant the department has seemed the last few years compared to other law enforcement agencies,” Kelley said.
Kelley, 46, said he has experience working in almost every division within the sheriff’s department, including patrol, courthouse security, the county jail and his current assignment, investigations. He’s also a Lockport Township trustee and was a Lockport alderman from 2005 to ’09.
The lifelong Lockport resident said he was inspired to become a police officer by his stepfather’s service as a Lockport officer. He and his wife, Leigh, have been married for 21 years and have three sons.
If elected sheriff, Kelley said he would condense evidence storage from various locations in the county and hire more officers to target heroin trafficking.
“Money will always be an issue, but when you’re jeopardizing citizens’ safety, you have to draw the line (regarding manpower),” he said.
Kelley will face at least one opponent in the March Democratic primary election. Ed Bradley, who retired after 21 years with the sheriff’s police, announced his candidacy previously.
The Democratic Central Committee will endorse a candidate. Attending Thursday’s fundraiser for Kelley were top Democratic officials, including County Executive Larry Walsh, State’s Attorney James Glasgow, Coroner Patrick O’Neil and Circuit Court Clerk Pam McGuire.
“Seeing support like this, I do like my chances,” Kelley said.
Sheriff Paul Kaupas, a Republican, announced last year that he would not seek a fourth term next year. Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas and retired sheriff’s officer Nick Ficarello are seeking the Republican nomination.
In 2010, Paul Kaupas was challenged in the GOP primary by sheriff’s Lt. Steve Egan. A page recently set up on Facebook indicates that Egan, a 23-year department veteran, now is seeking the Democratic nomination.
Egan did not return messages for comment.