State welfare fraud investigator Jerry Weeks has announced he is running for sheriff of Pend Oreille County.
Incumbent Doug Malby is expected to seek re-election, but has not yet made a formal announcement.
Weeks, 49, was a retired Anchorage, Alaska, police lieutenant - building a rural home near Newport - when the state Department of Social and Health Services hired him last July as a welfare fraud investigator. That job was funded only for one year, and Weeks said he plans to resign this summer to concentrate on his campaign even if the Legislature retains the position.
The sheriff’s race is Weeks’ first bid for elective office, but he was appointed to the Pend Oreille County Planning Commission last September. While Malby is a Democrat, Weeks is running as a Republican.
“I guess I’ve always kind of leaned in that direction, but I’ve never been a card-carrying Republican until this election,” Weeks said. “I would prefer it to be a nonpartisan election.”
Weeks believes his 26-year career in law enforcement, military leadership positions and educational background make him the best-qualified candidate for sheriff.
After decorated service in the Vietnam War as a sergeant in the Army Rangers, he was a police officer for two years in Athens, Texas, and for five years in Dallas. When he moved to the Anchorage Police Department in 1978, he was also a second lieutenant in the Texas Army National Guard.
Weeks transferred to the Alaska Army National Guard, where he rose to second lieutenant and held a number of positions, including operations officer for the Alaska Military Academy.
In branch campuses at Elmendorf Air Force Base, near Anchorage, he earned a bachelor’s degree in human services and criminal justice from Wayland Baptist University of Plainview, Texas, and a master’s degree in business management from the University of LaVerne of Laverne, Calif.
At the same time, Weeks worked his way through the ranks of the Anchorage Police Department and served five years as a lieutenant before retiring. He commanded a patrol shift and later the department’s anti-drug unit and a regional drug task force.
Weeks is married and has two adult children from a previous marriage.
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