Wahkiakum County has a contest between two candidates for sheriff. The incumbent, Mark Howie has been sheriff for the past year, and has 12-plus years of steady professional development in law enforcement. The successful write-in candidate, Officer Mike Balch has served in the Wahkiakum County police department for 20-plus years. In Wahkiakum County we have a district court judge and his nephew who is the prosecuting attorney who have the tendency to interpret their own laws and march to their own drummer. While both individuals should be removed from office, I address the forthcoming election of sheriff and offer my endorsement.

As we all know, there must be a true and objective sense of cooperation between our police department and officers of the court. While Officer Balch has given good service to the county, it is my opinion and with facts, and in his own words, he has gone too often to the aid of these judicial officers. Yes, possibly unknowing and unwittingly, but the connection is too strong. Sheriff Howie has a stronger record of cross training and management skills in law enforcement. He continually seeks professional growth for himself and his staff. One challenge for Sheriff Howie’s if elected, and he should be, is to work with all his officers and the citizens of Wahkiakum County to manage the slippery slope that our county’s judicial officials present. In supporting Sheriff Howie’s bid for reelection, I challenge and remind him of the ethical challenges that go with the title of Sheriff, and the office, all through his future career. Good luck to all of us.

Dennis T. Gordon

Puget Island

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