Monday, Oct. 3, started as a bright and beautiful fall day. My husband’s and my day began with a scheduled furnace service and a trip to the barber for my husband’s haircut and to talk local politics. Shortly after he returned home, we received that phone call that shatters the calm and quietude of daily existence — that single call that every parent never hopes to get. “Your child is dead.” We raced out the door to his residence and a 911 call was initiated. In very short order the sheriff’s deputy had arrived, followed by emergency personnel, followed by additional sheriff deputies and ultimately, the coroner. As the scene unfolded, family, friends and neighbors began to assemble outside. A death investigation was in progress. Regardless of any situation, you love your child unconditionally, as any parent will attest to. Jim Smith and Tony Ciriello were certainly cognizant of that on that fateful day. Their professionalism, leadership, empathy and compassion was on full display. The manner in which they conducted the investigation and their interaction with the family was impeccable and appreciated beyond words. We have the utmost confidence and trust in both of them as future leaders of this community. We fully support and endorse them in the upcoming election. In addition, we would also like to extend thanks and gratitude to KCSD, and all emergency first responders.
Michael and Cheryl Brown
I am asking you to vote for Jim Smith because he will be a constitutional sheriff. In addition to accepting only a reasonable salary, taking back control of the jail, growing JCAP, and bringing back accountability to work release, Jim Smith will be a constitutional sheriff.
With so much federal overreach, we need sheriffs who will stand up for citizens’ rights. We remember when Elkhart Sheriff Brad Rogers stood up to the federal government when they were harassing Amish farmers for selling raw milk.
Another example is in the fall of 2020 when the governor made a new “crime” all on his own, without the legislature. Many Indiana sheriffs, including Kyle Dukes, openly said they would not enforce this new “crime.” A week later, the governor took away the criminal part of his new “law.”
Our previous three sheriffs including Kyle Dukes assured citizens that if the federal government came for the citizens’ guns, that they, the sheriffs would not participate in confiscating guns and would stand up for the citizens rights.
Please join me in voting for the next Constitutional sheriff of Kosciusko County, Jim Smith.
One of the many things that I admire about Jim Smith is that he’s a straight shooter. If he disagrees with you, he’ll look you in the eye and tell you to your face. No matter where you stood in the Dukes/Smith primary this May, you have to admit that it took guts and character for Jim to approach the sheriff, tell him that he disagrees with the way things are being handled and launch a campaign for change.
I have not seen the same strength of character from those in the administration who are currently trying to cling to power through their proxy candidate. Instead, I’ve seen pettiness, vindictiveness and a culture of victimhood. They show up at a Republican event and cry about not being able to use it to promote a non-Republican candidate. They suspiciously reassign a well-known Smith supporter in the Department to road duties after an innocent Facebook post. They pretend that the criminal trouble of Jim Smith's son is an issue, when they know very well that Jim did exactly the right thing by removing himself from the situation and letting the State Police and special prosecutor handle the case. They continue to focus on relitigating the past, while Jim Smith is focused on the future.
They act like Hillary Clinton, blaming Kyle’s Dukes’ defeat on a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” But Kyle Dukes is not a victim. He didn’t lose the primary because Republicans were out to get him. He lost because he gave himself a massive pay raise by refusing to negotiate a salary contract, made his brother-in-law his chief deputy, was too hands-off when it came to managing the jail and the majority of voters didn’t like it. It’s that simple.
Like most of you, I am ready for this election to be over, and one of the biggest reasons is because I am ready for a leader who is focused on fixing big problems instead of settling petty personal grudges. Vote for Republican Jim Smith on November 8.
Donald K. Wiesehan Jr.
I’m a friend of James Marshall but a supporter of Jim Smith.
Recently, I’ve heard an employee of the sheriff’s department say that they support Marshall due to the “fact” that in four years, they have seen Marshall in the jail but not Smith and that a drug detection canine for the jail would be frivolous.
I want it to be known that in my 11 years as a jail officer, I can not count high enough when it comes to the number of times I saw Jim Smith in the jail. What’s more important about Jim being present in the jail is that he is one of the only deputies I have ever heard ask what can be done differently to improve the jail.
So maybe Jim was absent the day a so-called jail employee took attendance to see who they were going to support politically, but Jim was present when it truly mattered and took time to ask real frontline jail workers how things can be improved.
To speak to having a “frivolous” drug detection canine, I wish I could give you an accurate number of times the jail had to call in a canine from either the road division of the sheriff’s department, Indiana State Police, Warsaw Police Department or Winona Lake Police to search for drugs after an incident occurred or rumors of drugs being in the jail reached the staff. Jailers have one of the hardest and most scrutinized jobs, but it made things much harder when we had to call in for a detection canine’s help instead of having one assigned and trained strictly for the corrections setting.
I strongly believe a detection canine intended for the jail would be extremely valuable.
The current last-ditch rhetoric of non-Smith supporters says a detection canine can’t be used on people, so it’s not worth it. As someone that has seen detection canines work in the jail several times, they are not used to search people directly. These canines do an open air search, meaning they can search several different areas of the jail. They can search the jail’s 12 cell blocks, the hundred-some jail cells, the laundry room, the kitchen, the booking room, work release and anywhere an inmate or jail worker has access to.
To say a canine is a bad idea because you won’t use it on people is ridiculous.
Implementing a canine is a step in the right direction in trying to combat an endless drug problem that jails face. Throughout the last year, non-Smith supporters have talked like all jails have drug problems so we are just supposed to accept it and deal with the fact that the jail will always have drugs in it. Now, Smith’s current opposition is trying a new way of tearing down an idea that says people don’t have to accept the jail will have drugs in it. A canine is an added deterrent and tool to combat drugs being within the jail.
You go ahead and tell me a canine in the jail is frivolous the next time there is an overdose.
Choose Jim Smith on Nov. 8.
I’m writing this letter to endorse Jim Smith for Kosciusko County sheriff. I believe Jim will be very effective in continuing to work and improve the sheriff’s department in all aspects of the job that fall under the sheriff’s responsibility.
I have the upmost respect and appreciation for Jim and his never-ending call to service, duty, responsibility and love for this beloved county.
Jim is a people person that genuinely cares for the well-being of others before himself. He has integrity and lives by a code of honor that exemplifies his character. I have seen Jim in action. I have seen how he handles situations and moreover, how he interacts with the public either in a professional or personal manner.
Because of his vast knowledge and experience of being in law enforcement, Jim was very instrumental and helpful with the training of reserve officers.
I appreciate how he is humble to the effect that he may not know everything, but he will seek out all the information he can from everyone to make the best decisions for the county sheriff’s department. I know he will be fiscally responsible, fair and inclusive to all.
Jim’s character is unquestionably his best quality. He actually talks to folks consistently and wants to honestly know what needs improved and fixed. His character, I believe, is what has given him his selfless call to serve, his leadership qualities and the respect of this community.
Jim has my vote and full support!
It’s looking like we might see a “red wave” in the election this year, but local Democrats are pushing their candidates with full force, so it’s important that Republicans don’t fall asleep at the switch. Republicans have an exciting group of candidates this year, from Rudy Yakym and Todd Young at the federal level, to Tera Klutz, Diego Morales and Daniel Elliott at the state level, and all of our great local nominees.
I am especially excited about voting for Jim Smith for sheriff. Jim is a conservative outsider who is not afraid to upset the apple cart to bring about conservative change. He’s a leader, not a follower, and he is promising fiscal responsibility in the office and law and order in the jail. Now, more than ever, we need conservative leaders like Jim Smith leading the way in law enforcement.
Early voting is going on every weekday at the Kosciusko County Justice Building from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through November 4. It will also be available on Saturday, November 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday, November 7 from 8 a.m. to noon. And on election day, November 8, you can vote at any of the vote centers throughout Kosciusko County.
Don’t let the Democrats get a leg up in our great conservative county! Get out and vote for Jim Smith and the whole Republican ticket!
A recent letter to the editor accused Republican sheriff candidate Jim Smith of having a plan that consists only of “cracking down and applying more force” to inmates in the Kosciusko County Jail. First of all, that is not true. Jim Smith has been very clear about his desire to help drug-addicted inmates who are serious about their recovery by continuing and expanding the Jail Chemical Addiction Program, so his plan is not simply about brute force.
But more importantly, restoring law and order in the jail is a necessary and compassionate thing for the inmates themselves. When the authorities in a jail are lax, when damages to the jail are tolerated, then the results are inevitable: The strong inmates prey on and harm the weak. When drugs flow freely through the cell blocks, the results are predictable: violence, drug overdoses and even deaths. No jail is pleasant, and families will always worry about their loved ones who are incarcerated, but no family should worry that a loved one is going to die in the jail of a drug overdose. That is a concern we should all work toward eliminating.
Jim Smith has a compassionate heart for people in jail, much like our current and former sheriffs in this county. But he knows that inmates in his care won’t be safe unless there is law and order throughout the entire facility. Cracking down on the troublemakers and reestablishing the sheriff’s authority are necessary to make that happen. Vote for Republican Jim Smith on November 8.
If you are involved in the community, you have met Jim Smith. He’s out patrolling the streets as a deputy sheriff, serving ice cream at the fair for the Leesburg Lions, helping non-profits as recent past president and member of the Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club, watching over your tax dollars on the Tippecanoe Township Advisory Board, serving kids through Kosciusko 4-H, and, of course, running for sheriff of Kosciusko County. He does it all with a contagious smile and can-do spirit.
Jim served our community and our country long before he began his campaign for sheriff. He does it because he loves the community and feels a need to give back in whatever way he can. He’s a true patriot and a good citizen.
Jim is the Republican nominee for sheriff, and the other side has offered nothing but negativity. They see his extensive service and say it’s not important. They see his proposals to make the jail safer and say they won’t work. They see his promise to take a reasonable salary contract and say that a county sheriff making more than the governor is no big deal. They have no positive ideas themselves, just negative attacks against Jim.
Jim Smith is running for the community, not against any person. With his service record and community spirit, I do not doubt he will make an excellent sheriff for Kosciusko County. Vote Republican on Nov. 8. Vote for Jim Smith for sheriff.
For the last year I have had the privileged position of working alongside Jim Smith during
his term as president of the Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club and from my experience there is no one better to lead as sheriff than Jim Smith.
For the last year I have witnessed Jim lead with a heart of service and a head for the big
picture and I know he will do the same as sheriff.
When he stepped into the role as president, Jim Smith set a clear vision for what his term would look like and I watched as time after time he delivered on his promises. Throughout his candidacy, Jim has put forth a vision for how he will lead the Sheriff's Department and I know from my own experience, he will deliver on that vision.
I'm proud to call Jim Smith my friend and Ihope you will join me in electing him our next sheriff of Kosciusko County.
As a newcomer to local politics, I have been watching all of the campaigns very closely, and I am particularly inspired by the leadership of Jim Smith. I am proud to endorse his campaign for sheriff.
Jim has a long track record of serving the community. He just ended a successful stint as president of the Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club. He’s an active member of the Leesburg Lions Club, an elected member of the Tippecanoe Township Board and is an outstanding deputy for the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, to name just a few of his roles. He also served our country by volunteering for the Army Reserves during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
One of the things I admire about Jim is that he knows how to take a punch and keep on going. That’s an important quality for a leader. It’s no secret that politics can get nasty, and some of Jim’s political opponents, especially on social media, have attacked him in very personal and ridiculous ways. But Jim hasn’t backed down, and he hasn’t let up. He’s focused on the big things — on how he can best serve the community now and in the future — and he knows that at the end of the day, the petty political attacks are all just noise. Like he’s said from the beginning, he’s about “More Service, Less Politics.”
Jim Smith is someone everyone can look up to. I encourage everyone to vote for him on or before Nov. 8.
Secretary of Young Adult Republicans
There is only one ticket this year that was chosen by your friends and neighbors in the May primary election, and that is the Republican ticket. I am proud of the way that we Republicans choose our candidates.
Unlike the Democrats, whose candidates are typically slated to be on the ballot by their chairman, or the independents, who gather signatures that constitute a tiny fraction of the overall electorate, the Republican Party allows any voter who wishes to participate in the primary to have a say in who will be on the ballot for the November election. The result is always a spirited contest of ideas that benefits our whole community and gives us candidates who are tried, tested, and ready for the rigors of public office.
Jim Smith is an outstanding public servant who has dedicated his life to serving others. He is part of a rising generation of American leaders who selflessly volunteered to defend our freedoms by serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is a man who is very secure in his beliefs and is willing to fight, no matter how nasty the opposition may get, for conservative principles. He is the very definition of a leader, and he is going to make an excellent sheriff.
Brad Voelz is far and away the most qualified candidate for prosecuting attorney. His experience as an attorney in the criminal justice system spans three decades, and he has been the lead prosecutor, defense attorney, or judge in well over one hundred criminal jury trials. It’s one thing to promise to be tough on crime; it’s another thing entirely to have the skillset necessary to make that promise meaningful. When Brad Voelz promises to put criminals behind bars, you can know that his promise counts because he has decades of experience doing just that.
The Republican primary voters gave us a full ticket of candidates that also includes Tony Ciriello for County Council District 3; Jeanie Stackhouse for Wayne Township Trustee; Lance Grubbs, Gordon Nash, and Josh Spangle for Wayne Township Board; and too many others to list in a single letter. All are fantastic candidates who are worthy of your vote.
Let’s make this year a conservative landslide. Vote for the Republican ticket on November 8.
Chairman, Kosciusko County Republican Central Committee
Please consider voting Brad Voelz for prosecutor and Jim Smith for sheriff this Election Day.
Both candidates embody the Conservative Republican values that have made this county such a great place to live. Brad Voelz will uphold the rule of law, relentlessly prosecute criminals and has extensive prior experience working as a deputy prosecutor. Jim Smith will bring order back to the jail, will continue to expand JCAP and will hold true to his Republican values of smart spending and fiscal responsibility.
I wholly support these men for office this November, and I hope you will consider doing the same.
Kosciusko County Young Republican Chairman
I have been involved in Kosciusko County Republican politics for a long time, and I have come to see a certain pattern in the way we do things. We fight like the devil with each other during the primary, we mend our wounds afterwards and then we come together as a team to do what is best for the county.
This year’s Republican primary was especially hard-fought. I supported Kyle Dukes in the sheriff’s race, and I do not have an unkind word to say about him. He has been a tremendous leader for our community, and we all owe him and his leadership team a debt of gratitude for their service over the past four years. But a majority of my fellow Republican voters decided on a new direction this May, and I also have a great respect for their wisdom and discernment.
The primary voters did not make the same decision that I would have made, but they have given us a fantastic nominee nonetheless. Now is the time to come together in support of Jim Smith for sheriff. Jim Smith has a superb background in service, both overseas in the U.S. Army Reserves and here at home in many different capacities. He is a man who cares deeply about our community and is constantly looking for new ways to give back. He has broad experience in law enforcement, a long resume of leadership roles and the common sense, approachable style that comes with being a county road deputy. He is a man of principle who stands tall for what he believes in.
While he may bring a different approach to the office, Jim Smith is not going to carelessly discard every program of the current administration. I am very pleased by his promise to continue and expand upon the Jail Chemical Addiction Program - a very successful treatment regimen for inmates suffering from drug addictions, which Sheriff Dukes has poured his heart into during his term of office.
It is essential that we continue Republican leadership in Kosciusko County. I am confident that Jim Smith will make an excellent sheriff. I urge everyone to give him your support at the ballot box on or before November 8.
The problems that face our county law enforcement require a strong leader. That’s why I’m supporting Republican Jim Smith for sheriff.
Leadership is about identifying problems, proposing solutions and persuading others to join in the cause. Jim Smith ran in the Republican primary because he saw problems: He didn’t think it was right that the sheriff’s salary was increasing dramatically while average citizens were financially struggling, and he didn’t think it was acceptable that overdoses and deaths were occurring in the county jail. Rather than sit back and complain, he proposed solutions: a simple salary contract that would keep the sheriff’s pay in line with the statewide average for sheriffs, better and more consistent training for jailers on the use of the full-body scanner and a drug-sniffing dog specifically for the jail.
And then Jim Smith launched a campaign to persuade his fellow Republicans to join him. They did. He won. Because of his strong leadership, Jim Smith is now the Republican nominee for sheriff.
I strongly believe that a leader like Jim Smith will bring harmony to the Sheriff’s Department. Leaders are able to rise above petty bickering because they are not petty themselves. They inspire others to join causes greater than their own self-interests.
Jim Smith is the leader our community needs right now. Please join me in voting for him on November 8.
The race for sheriff this year features two good and honorable men. Both served our nation heroically overseas, and both continue to serve our community well at the sheriff’s office. Only one can get my vote though, and that man is Jim Smith.
I believe Jim Smith has all the qualities we need in a sheriff. He’s down-to-earth and kindhearted, but tough when he needs to be. He’s been in this campaign for the long haul, putting in the hard work to earn the trust of Republican voters and receive their vote in the May primary.
He has the endurance, the determination and the ability to manage high stress situations that we need in someone who holds this important office. Finally, he has good, old-fashioned Kosciusko County Republican common sense. He’ll be fiscally conservative with our tax dollars, including when it comes to his own salary.
The opposition is attacking him with everything they can, including the behavior of his 18-year-old son, which we all know is outside his control and has nothing to do with the job he would do as sheriff.
Jim Smith has taken it all in stride and continued to campaign on a positive message. When I cast my ballot on Nov. 8, I’ll proudly be voting for a great friend of this whole community, Jim Smith.
As Attorney General Todd Rokita said at a recent Smith event, “There are two Jameses in this race, but there’s only one ‘Jim.’”
Warsaw Chief of Police, Retired
Kosciusko County Republican Party Treasurer
From the beginning of this election season, Jim Smith has been running for sheriff with the slogan of “More Service, Less Politics.” Even though he has now received the Republican nomination and is running under the Republican banner, he still embodies those words.
“More Service, Less Politics” means dedicating your time to causes greater than yourself. From the beginning of his adult life, Jim Smith has done just that, starting with his service in Operation lraqi Freedom and continuing today through his work in service clubs like the Warsaw Breakfast Optimists and the Leesburg Lions. Jim Smith has a head for service, and he always gives of himself to benefit others.
“More Service, Less Politics” means holding firm to what you believe is best for the whole community and not letting political opinions and self-interest pull you in every direction. Jim Smith has focused much of his campaign on addressing two serious issues: the out-of-control rate of the sheriff’s compensation and the unacceptable damage and drug dealing in the county jail. Despite intense resistance and despite what would be in his best financial interest if elected, he remains steadfast in his intent to implement change.
“More Service, Less Politics” means helping those in need. Jim Smith recognizes the scourge of drug addiction in our community and the good work Sheriff Dukes has done with the Jail Chemical Addiction Program. He will continue to build on that program and assist those who are serious about their recovery from drug addiction.
Finally, “More Service, Less Politics” means getting to know your neighbor. Jim Smith has walked many miles going door to door during this campaign, has attended countless community events, fish fries, church potlucks, tenderloin dinners and just about anything else you can think of. He’s putting in the work to reach out to everyone he can.
Jim Smith is a conservative Republican and the Republican voters have already given him their nomination. But whether you’re Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or something else, a vote for Jim Smith is a no-brainer. He’s the best man for the job.
We hear a lot of talk about this time every election year, mostly from people who are not Republicans, about how political parties do not matter in local races. I do not believe that. Local races, more than anything else, are about judgment, and the political party you choose to associate with tells me a lot about what kind of judgment you have.
Of the two main political parties, only one believes in the Constitution, and that the job of law enforcement is to enforce the laws that We the People enact, not unilaterally choose which laws get enforced. That party is the Republican Party.
Of the two main political parties, only one believes in law and order, that wrongdoers need to be punished rather than coddled, and that rioting, and looting are always unacceptable. That party is the Republican Party.
Of the two main political parties, only one believes in limited government, in secure borders, in parental rights with school curriculum, in the sanctity of life, and so many other important principles, and that is the Republican Party. If you choose to run on another ticket, then yes, I question your judgment.
I agree that we should always vote for the best person for the job. I will be doing that this year by voting for the Republican ticket and electing Jim Smith for sheriff and Brad Voelz for prosecutor.
Mrs. Mary Louise Miller
I’d like to tell you why I support Jim Smith for Kosciusko County Sheriff.
I’ve known Jim for many years as a Leesburg volunteer fireman and through Leesburg Lions Club. You can always count on Jim. He is everything we could ask for in a sheriff.
He’s a lifelong resident of Kosciusko County who knows the people like the back of his hand. He’s an experienced lawman who has served for nearly two decades in law enforcement. He’s a veteran who served his country in Iraq and Kuwait.
He’s a fiscal conservative who will always be looking for ways to save the taxpayers money. He’s a lifelong Republican who is rock-solid on the Second Amendment and has been endorsed by the owner of Two Bear Arms.
He is a leader who listens and has put together a common-sense plan to end vandalism and drug-dealing in the jail. He views the office of sheriff as a service to the people of this community, not an opportunity for more politics.
We need more leaders like Jim Smith! Vote for Jim Smith in the May 3 Republican primary.
My wife Becky and I fully support Jim Smith for Kosciusko County sheriff.
Lloyd Shroyer, Leesburg
Brad Voelz has a 30-year proven track record of public service in the area of criminal justice. Brad has served as Kosciusko County’s chief deputy prosecutor since 2015. He is the experienced leader this county needs. The public needs to make sure at all levels of government that people elect true conservatives.
I enjoy working with Kyle Dukes as sheriff and anticipated that continuing for another term. I consider both Kyle and Jim Smith friends and both very capable as sheriff. In this year’s primary election, this county nominated Jim Smith for sheriff. I have known Jim since his years serving on the Syracuse Police Department. I respect and appreciate his service to this country in the military. His military training and experience are an asset to the sheriff’s office. I know that Jim will do an excellent job serving as sheriff.
Please join me this Tuesday in voting for Brad Voelz and Republican nominee Jim Smith.
Northern District Commissioner
Jim Smith has taken a leadership role in just about every group or association in which he has been involved. He has served this community well in many ways. He will continue to serve Kosciusko County and all of us as our next sheriff.
Please join Candace and I in voting for and supporting him in his run for sheriff.
Dave and Candace Wolkins