February 17, 2006

Allemeier outlines Sheriff's race

The Democratic primary for Rock Island County sheriff is a two-man race and both candidates are familiar to voters.

Mike Grchan, the four-term incumbent, faces Mike Huff, a sergeant in the sheriff's department, in the March 21 primary. No Republicans are slated for the primary.

In a five-man race in the 2002 primary, Mr. Grchan was the top vote-getter with 5,732 votes. Mr. Huff finished third, with 3,546 votes, behind former sheriff's department captain Gene Jungwirth, who drew 3,582.

A smaller primary field will help the second time around, Mr. Huff said.

"There were so many candidates last time it was tough to know each candidate," he said. "It was tough to focus in on one and get to know that person."

The smaller field has made the race more low-key. Neither candidate made a major announcement regarding their candidacy.

"I just haven't got around to it," Mr. Grchan said.

Mr. Huff is a 26-year veteran of the sheriff's department. He is certified by the Illinois Attorney General's office as an elderly services officer. He has a bachelor's degree in law enforcement administration from Western Illinois University.

He is a long-time union representative for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 61 that represents the sheriff's deputies.

Mr. Grchan has been with the sheriff's department for 36 years. Among the accomplishments he touts as sheriff are starting a D.A.R.E. Program, getting liaison officers in county schools, and working with local police chiefs and the federal government to create a gang task force and bring a U.S. Attorney's office to the county.

This campaign hasn't focused on a major issue, unlike the 1998 primary when a new jail dominated the race.

"I didn't know what his issues are going to be," Mr. Grchan said of his opponent, "so I was just waiting to hear."

Mr. Huff says it is time for a change in leadership at the sheriff's department.

"I believe it is time for a fresh approach to the law enforcement challenges that lie ahead," he said. "My experience, education and training have prepared me for the job."

Mr. Grchan, who has been meeting with key supporters, was hoping for a short campaign season but has started distributing yard signs to match Mr. Huff's visibility. The race could turn into a sprint with a little more than a month remaining.


At 2/17/2006 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about one of those online chat polls you ran for the Senate race that you said would be comming.

At 2/17/2006 11:44 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I did??!! I don't recall that. I may have said I might do one, but I don't recall saying one would be coming.

If you notice, I'm running a poll already. Maybe after it's done.

At 2/17/2006 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check the fact that Jon Gianulas is the one behind this primary - again! Fact - Jon got Gene Junwurth to run last time and then John G immediately rewarded Gene J with a cushy high paying job at the EM Correctional center so that Gene would not have to work for Grchan after the loss. John G's wife even said in public that Gene had their full support so I am not dreaming this stuff up.

Pay close attention now. If Huff gets beat, then he's next up for the John G patronage gravy train wagon and Huff has probably been promised a nice reward for running if he looses.....like a nice state job of some kind - can't you just feel the love?

This primary will be close for sure because the Dem machine is trying hard to get rid of Grchan.

That is fact. Simple - back door facts is all. Just watch the players in this game. And some game it is folks!

At 2/17/2006 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me put it to you this way, Misses Dope. At the grassroots level, there is five times more interest in the Sheriff's primary than the State Senate primary.
This is local politics at its best.
Keep an eye on this one.

At 2/17/2006 6:03 PM, Blogger diehard said...

Does Huff live in Andalusia? Is he related to John? Does he have money of his own?
These are some of the criteria required by John Gianulis to get on the patronage train, Oh, and kissing his butt does not hurt either!

At 2/17/2006 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people are so geolous of a 90 year old man that it isn't even funny. He has more power than you blow holes that like to throw your two cents in and complain but never do anything but sit around and bitch. Get off of your duff and do something other than wein. Maybe you should have some wine with that cheese.

At 2/17/2006 11:05 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Yeah, but who wouldn't be "geolous" of a 90 year old?

At 2/18/2006 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing I am is sick of John G's old fashioned ways and I am ready yesterday for someone new and energized with some fresh ideas.

John G is overdue for retirement and should go out to pasture but he won't go on his own so we have to wait for him to be carried out of office feet first I guess.

I am getting very impatient waiting for him to step aside and let the future begin!

John G has very very few fans - all of which he gave em patronige jobs - and no wonder they love him - for $80K or more a year - anyone would love that type of yearly gift. Most of the people who got the gifts would be underemployed if not for John G. John himself scoops up at least $80K for himself each year - maybe more.

At 2/18/2006 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If John G is behind it, it is because Grchan doesn't do anything for the party. He is only there for what will benefit him. Grchan has stayed long enough and it is time for new leadership. This will be the race to watch, but I think Huff will come out ahead because of the money and backing that he has. If John G is backing Huff Grchan doesn't have a chance. John G controls the democratic party hand down.

At 2/19/2006 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Denny Jacobs would be a great replacement when John G decides to hang it up. He would carry the party to new heights.

At 2/20/2006 1:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hadn't thought about Denny Jacobs giving up lobbying to take over for John G, but if we could get him to take on these responsibilities it would be great news for the democratic party for years to come.


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