Duchesne County Commission Chairman Rick Reynolds is launching a write-in campaign to become sheriff.
Reynolds' term as commissioner expires this year. He did not seek re-election to that office but did file as a candidate for sheriff. However, he was unable to gain his party's nomination during the Democratic Party county convention.Reynolds, a former Utah Highway Patrol trooper, will face incumbent sheriff Merv Gustin, a Democrat, and deputy sheriff Ralph Stansfield, the Republican candidate.
Reynolds says he realizes that campaigning as a write-in will be an uphill battle but says he feels he must give it a try because "our sheriff's department cannot continue business as usual.
"I believe I can, through innovative ideas and restructuring techniques, maximize production and service within present or reduced budget constraints."
A primary concern he sees is the strain expected to be placed on officers, finances and the jail facility itself due to last February's Supreme Court ruling diminishing the size of the Ute Indian Reservation, placing criminal jurisdiction over tribal members back in the hands of local and state law enforcement agencies.
"I believe a matter to consider is our recent Supreme Court ruling, which along with the apparent benefits to the Uintah Basin, comes increased pressures placed upon law enforcement, prosecution and incarceration due to a projected case load," he said.
He said his 31/2 years as a commissioner have given him insight into the budgetary process and the drastic shortfalls in revenues the county has suffered.
A Vietnam veteran, Reynolds said his military experience will serve the county well in restructuring the department.