It will be five months before anybody can file for the election, but there’s already a three-way race under way for Shoshone County Sheriff.
“This is happening much quicker than I had planned on,” said Sheriff Dan Schierman, who’s running again next year. “I don’t want to get the public tired of politics early on.”
His two challengers - already busy preparing brochures and bumper stickers - say they need to build name recognition.
Although none of the candidates seems happy at the thought, the race is likely to be haunted by the ghosts of controversies past.
Here’s why: Schierman was an informant in the Silver Valley’s notorious 1991 anti-gambling raid. As undersheriff, he testified against his boss, Sheriff Frank Crnkovich. Crnkovich was indicted on gambling and racketeering charges, but never convicted. The two faced off in the ensuing election, and Schierman won easily.
“It’s four years since that (raid) happened,” said Schierman. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s water under the bridge.”
Still, one of Schierman’s challengers now is Larry Irvine, a long-time friend of Crnkovich’s. He thinks the controversy tainted Schierman, but says he, too, doesn’t want to make it a campaign issue. He’s a professional policeman, Irvine says, not a patsy for Crnkovich. “Really, I’m my own man, and I intend to stay that way,” he said.
The other challenger is Tim Castle, who says he voted for Schierman, but thinks the department has become inefficient and out of touch with the public. “I want to put service back into ‘Protect and Serve,”’ Castle said.
Schierman and Irvine will run as Democrats, Castle as an Independent. The primary election will be May 28, with the general election in November 1996.
Here are snapshots of the three candidates:
Larry Irvine is 57 and was raised in Kellogg. He started his police career at 23, working for the Kellogg Police Department, later moving to the Las Vegas Police Department, where he retired as a sergeant in 1988. After stints as a bar owner and airline fraud investigator, he moved to Kingston in 1992.
He said he would support efforts to legalize gambling, but would be sworn to enforce the state’s current anti-gambling laws. “I’m not going to turn my back on illegal activities,” he said.
Tim Castle is 48 and was raised near Wallace. Castle has served as a police officer in Alaska, Pullman, Mullan and Wallace. He said he was fired from the Wallace job, because of a drinking problem, but says he hasn’t had a drink since 1978. He’s worked a variety of security and technical jobs since then, getting caught twice in layoffs, and opened his Castle and Sons security business three years ago. He lives in Osburn.
He said he’d establish a citizens’ review board to hear complaints of police misconduct. “Who’s policing the police? Nobody,” he said.
Dan Schierman is 48 and was raised in Kellogg. Schierman began his police career at 26, working as a Kellogg patrolman. In 1977, he became a deputy and was promoted to undersheriff in 1985. He lives in Osburn.
Under him, Schierman said, the department started an anti-drug education program, bought a drug-search dog and just received word that it’s received a grant for another deputy. He said he’s improved relations with other jurisdictions, citing the successful two-county search last weekend for a lost hunter.
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