Election 2022: Fillmore County Sheriff
The two candidates for Fillmore County Sheriff make their pitches to voters ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.
PRESTON — Fillmore County voters will have two choices for sheriff on their ballots this November: incumbent Fillmore County Sheriff John DeGeorge and challenger Tom Kaase. Candidates shared with the Post Bulletin why they are running for office and what their priorities will be if elected to office.
Here are the two candidates running for Fillmore County Sheriff:
John DeGeorge (incumbent)
Occupation: Fillmore County Sheriff.
Education: A.A.S. in law enforcement, Alexandria Technical and Community College.
Why are you running for office? I am running for re-election as Fillmore County Sheriff to continue the work that we started when I took office four years ago. We expanded our community outreach and started a crime prevention program giving public presentations on public safety topics. We also added a fourth-grade fall D.A.R.E. program to all schools in addition to our traditional sixth-grade spring program. We also need to continue to mentor our next generation of leadership to ensure that they have the tools, experience and training necessary to lead the sheriff’s office and provide a public safety service that reflects the values of the people of Fillmore County.
What are the three most important issues to you as a candidate?
- Making sure that the sheriff’s office is fully staffed with professional, well-trained employees to ensure that we are able to respond quickly and effectively every time we are needed.
- Making sure that I and the rest of the sheriff’s office maintains strong connections with the community in order to keep the trust that we have earned, and be able to identify the issues that are affecting the people of our county in order to find solutions.
- Continue working with the Fillmore County Board to move forward with the right solution for our aging jail.
Occupation: Former Fillmore County Sheriff and owner of Kaase Trucking and Jailhouse Inn Bed and Breakfast.
Education: Rochester Community College, FBI National Academy.
Why are you running for office? I’m running for the position of Fillmore County Sheriff because of a need for greater accountability, greater fiscal responsibility and greater transparency.
What are the three most important issues to you as a candidate? The first and foremost important issue to me as a candidate is the proposed building of a new jail. The current sheriff and Fillmore County Board of Commissioners have an opportunity to substantially reduce our county’s budget and liability by not building a new jail. Currently, a proposal of upwards of $10 million has been brought forward for a new jail. If built, it will be coupled with an increase in the budget due to new/additional staff that will need to be hired. There appears to be a mindset that the American Rescue Plan dollars that are available to Fillmore County for the building of a new jail is free money. In the end, these are tax dollars that need to get paid back. Even with the use of these ARP dollars, which would initially soften the building cost, the cost to the taxpayers still increases substantially. There are 87 counties in Minnesota. Rock, Pope, Big Stone, Red Lake, Stevens, Grant, Mahnomen and Dodge counties do not have jails. Polk County houses prisoners in North Dakota. This information was obtained from the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association. The information from these counties (except a very small amount on Dodge County), to my knowledge has not been obtained or shared.
Election Day is Nov. 8, 2022. Find voting information at www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/ . Candidates' responses have been edited for clarity and Post Bulletin news style.