We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lurz and Wyatt Tie in Lake Co. Sheriff's Poll

I sometimes worry that local Madison news and polls won't draw much attention compared to our big statewide political races. The latest Madville Times poll shows that's not true! I asked you, eager readers, "Who is the best candidate for Lake County Sheriff?" That question drew one of the biggest responses yet to a poll here: 265 votes! That's a whole heap more than the Lake County Commission poll I ran just a couple weeks ago, which drew a mere 73 votes. The sheriff poll turned out about a third of the votes that the Madville Times U.S. House and S.D. Governor polls generated back in June. Given that Lake County has less than 2% of the total registered voters in South Dakota, that turnout for a local online poll suggests a lot of interest in this particular race.

Enough ado: let's look at the numbers!

Jason R. Lurz
113 (43%)
Dan Wyatt
113 (43%)
Roger C. Hartman
39 (14%)
Votes: 265

A tie between the challengers! I thought that Madison City Patrolmen Lurz and Wyatt might split the anti-incumbent sentiment and leave incumbent Sheriff Hartman room to squeak by with a slim plurality of folks satisfied with the status quo. Not so in this poll: both challengers appear to have strong voter bases.

But get out your grains of salt. This online poll indicates first and foremost that supporters of Lurz and Wyatt are paying attention to the Web. Sheriff Hartman represents the older generation: he has no campaign website, and his base probably doesn't fuss with the Internet much, either. Hartman has voters; they just aren't reading the Madville Times (but they should be!).

Still, Lake County's Internet users are not some fringe minority (well, I am, but not all of you are!). The strong showing for Lurz and Wyatt indicate a large number of voters who want a new man at the helm of county law enforcement. Hartman has been sheriff for twelve years. He told voters in 2006 that this would be his last term; the Madison Daily Leader called it his final term when he won the 2006 Republican primary against Wyatt. The above poll suggests that a lot of voters are ready to hold Sheriff Hartman to his word.

I haven't heard much in terms of actual policy that explains why folks might want a change. I don't have many reasons in that direction: the Lake County Sheriff's Department has responded with due alacrity when I've called for help. But the current sheriff did indicate previously that he didn't want the job beyond 2010. Officers Wyatt and Lurz have also been dutiful and conscientious law enforcement officers for the City of Madison. I have confidence that either challenger could effectively and fairly protect and serve the people of Lake County.

I look forward to further public comment from the candidates and their supporters on the future direction of law enforcement in our county. Voters, feel free to hit the comment section with your observations on who's the best man for Lake County Sheriff.


  1. There is definately discourse and concern over current Sheriff Hartman deciding to once again seek the office he already told media and others he would not seek...twice.

    It has spurred former Sheriff, Herb Lurz' son, Jason Lurz and previous '02 and '06 sheriff candidate, Dan Wyatt to seek the office. This is an excellent time to elect a new sheriff and our county has two young men ready to serve.

    I remember when Miner County elected Tim Reisch as sheriff when he was very young. Reish did an excellent job and is now our State's Corrections leader.

    The other issue that has voters concerned is the double-dipping of our current sheriff. People have strong feelings about taking state retirement income while also taking taxpayer dollars when others are ready and willing to serve. We heard strong opinions about it when our area superintendents did the retire-rehire plan in December.

    In the sheriff's race, people will have to decide if they want fresh energy and new ideas or more of the same. I think Jason Lurz would make a fine sheriff for all of Lake County and wish him the best in November. He has our vote.

  2. I really like Dan, so he has my vote. Although one of the larger issues I would like to point to is the over abundance of police we have on the streets. My dealings of the Madison Police often involve more than one police vehicle whereas myself may only be on a bicycle or walking. I've been asked on more than one occasion if the..again "bicycle" I'm currently riding is actually owned by me or did I steal it? And anyone riding home or walking in the dark is automatically given a "suspect" label.

  3. I believe both Lurz and Wyatt are members of the Madison Police Department

  4. I am a quadriplegic with no use of my hands, meaning that it is impossible for me to do something as simple as purchase a pop from a pop machine. Yet, in 2004 when he was a deputy sheriff for the county, Jason Lurz came to my residence and questioned me about my involvement in the vandalism of a pop machine in January of 2004. I was told that I was under investigation for a felony and threatened with a court summons. Repeatedly. It was very absurd, but I won't elaborate any further (for now, anyway).

  5. Aaron Johnson10/14/2010 11:23 AM

    I am sure the only way Lurz got this many votes to to reset the cookies on the computer and to vote himself so many times. If he wanted the job he should have stayed in the office until Hartman retired.

  6. Aaron, that's an easy accusation to make. What evidence do you have to back this claim, or to distinguish this claim from any similar accusation one might make about the other candidates?


Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.