Door County may have just elected one of the most self-confident and self-assured sheriffs in Wisconsin history.
Tammy Sternard won a race as a Democratic for Door County Sheriff. She has kept in place her opponent, Chief Deputy Pat McCarty, who ran against her for sheriff as a Republican. That keeps McCarty in the number two position in the department and in a perfect place to mount a campaign for sheriff in the future.
Far too many in politics today view their opponent as an enemy. Apparently, Tammy Sternard has enough self-confidence to rise above traditional politics.
By keeping Chief Deputy McCarty in his position Sternard shows class and confidence. She sends a strong message that she is above the expected partisan politics of retribution that is far too pervasive today.
Sternard replaces another sheriff who demonstrated the same non-partisanship that should be part of the office. Steve Delarwelle served Door County as an effective, quiet and confident leader. Delarwelle never sought publicity. He was a professional law enforcement officer and never a typical politician. And he was smart enough to win a competitive race for sheriff.
These two people, both of whom Door County should be proud, are examples of why being a sheriff should not be a partisan office. Administering a law enforcement agency has nothing to do with being Republican or Democrat. Today, it has more to do with how to reduce recidivism, be smart rather than tough on crime and how to work in a community to prevent rather than punish criminal activity.
Tammy Sternard has a four-year example from Steve Delarwelle that she appears smart enough to follow. She’s off to very good start.
Now, lets get politics out of the courthouse and make positions like sheriff and county clerical positions like clerk, treasurer and register of deeds appointed rather than elected non-partisan positions.
And while that may take some time to accomplish, be confident Door County should be proud of retiring sheriff Delarwelle and his replacement, Tammy Sternard. May retirement bless you, Steve. And Tammy, may you and all with whom you serve be safe and protected.
That’s my opinion. I’d like to hear yours.