Marshall County Sheriff Ted Kamatchus believes his nearly 25 years of experience will continue to prove as asset to Marshall County.
Kamatchus faces his first Democrat opponent, Randy Price, for the first time in recent memory in the November general election.
Kamatchus, a Republican, said he doesn't understand why the sheriff's position is partisan position. The sheriff's role is to enforce the law not to create it. To him, that shouldn't matter if one is a Republican or a Democrat.
"You don't go out and arrest Democrats if you're Republican," he said. "That's ignorant."
While Kamatchus was only 27 when the board of supervisors appointed him in 1988, he said the department has grown considerably since then - and so have its needs. He has grown along with it, he said. He knows its ins and outs.
Kamatchus pointed to his ability to bring federal dollars and credibility to the sheriff's office as a continued benefit to the county.
"We began reaching out so it was less of burden on the local tax payers," he said. "The pie became larger for Marshall County."
His efforts to get the department accredited and the programs he helped put in place, such the Alternatives to Incarceration, which allows qualified inmates a chance to prove they can be rehabilitated, help balance the county's budget.
The partnerships he has built over the years are also invaluable, he said. People know him. They know what to expect of him. They know he is committed to the county because he helped build the sheriff's office into what it is today.
"My heart and soul is law enforcement," he said. "The citizens of Marshall County deserve no less than that."
Although he said he has no interest in "playing politics," Kamatchus said he has proven that he can work with many people on both sides of the political fence. The local 248 teamsters, a group noted for its Democratic leanings, endorses him.
His general philosophy is to be efficient and accountable to the county's tax dollars, he said. If the federal government is going to spend money, he sees no reason why the rest of the county shouldn't shoulder Marshall County's financial needs.
If there is an aspect of the position Kamatchus sees as appealing to a partisan base, it's that accountability - an accountability to the people and not to big government.
"Allow the people to have more input into the government, but understand there are laws and we have to uphold those laws," he said.