Meet John Doe: Sheriff’s race: Will the real Democrats and Republicans please stand up?

By Paul Gorski

What is going on in the race for Winnebago County sheriff? Who are the real Democrats and the Republicans on the ballot? I’ll open this article as I did a previous article… .

“There are seven people seeking either the Democratic or Republican Party nomination for Winnebago County sheriff this March 18. There are five people running on the Democratic ballot and two running as Republicans. There are actually more than two Republicans on the ballot, but I’ll get to that later. The winners of the March primary election will face off this November.”

I recently learned that not just one, but two of the five Democratic candidates were, until they filed for this race, Republicans. Randy Olson has been a staunch Republican for years, but decided to run as a Democrat because Democrats have held the office so long. Bob Redmond also appears to be a Republican on the Democratic ballot, too.

Redmond has voted in Republican primaries as recently as 2012 and was the campaign committee chairman for Republican Glen Weber’s race for state’s attorney against Democrat Joe Bruscato. Redmond is listed as “Chairperson” of this committee at the Illinois State Board of Elections website: That all makes for pretty strong Republican credentials.

I know Olson from my county board days, and I have friends who know Redmond well. They’re not bad people, but they should have the courage of their convictions to run under their real political party banner. Better yet, increase your odds in the election and run as an independent. Residents would like to see more independent candidates on the ballot.

Hiding under the cloak of another party’s label doesn’t impress me as a trait I want in my next sheriff. Candidates shouldn’t be afraid to admit whom their friends and associates are. I’m not being partisan. There are so few “partisan” issues on the local level. I have supported open ballot access for all parties and independent candidates for years. We simply need to get smart, honest people, regardless of party, elected to local office.

There are three other candidates that filed as Democrats: Glenn Heidenreich, Jeffrey Schroeder and Bob Springer. There are two candidates who filed as Republicans: Gary Caruana and Frank Pobjecky. Thank you forparticipating in the political process. We need more people to get involved.

Don’t let me sway your vote. Talk to the candidates. Contact the Winnebago County Clerk’s Office for a list of candidates and their home addresses, or visit to download the complete list of March 18 primary candidates.

Read my previous article about the sheriff’s race, “Meet John Doe: Seven candidates for Winnebago County sheriff — ask your questions now!” from the Feb 12-18 edition at

Do party affiliations make a difference to you? Let me know. Write this paper or post your comments online.

Paul Gorski ( is a Cherry Valley Township resident who also authors the Tech-Friendly column seen in this newspaper. Read “Tech-Friendly” at:

From the Feb. 26-March 4, 2014 issue

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