Editor, Times-Union:

I have been involved in Kosciusko County Republican politics for a long time, and I have come to see a certain pattern in the way we do things. We fight like the devil with each other during the primary, we mend our wounds afterwards and then we come together as a team to do what is best for the county.

This year’s Republican primary was especially hard-fought. I supported Kyle Dukes in the sheriff’s race, and I do not have an unkind word to say about him. He has been a tremendous leader for our community, and we all owe him and his leadership team a debt of gratitude for their service over the past four years. But a majority of my fellow Republican voters decided on a new direction this May, and I also have a great respect for their wisdom and discernment.

The primary voters did not make the same decision that I would have made, but they have given us a fantastic nominee nonetheless. Now is the time to come together in support of Jim Smith for sheriff. Jim Smith has a superb background in service, both overseas in the U.S. Army Reserves and here at home in many different capacities. He is a man who cares deeply about our community and is constantly looking for new ways to give back. He has broad experience in law enforcement, a long resume of leadership roles and the common sense, approachable style that comes with being a county road deputy. He is a man of principle who stands tall for what he believes in.

While he may bring a different approach to the office, Jim Smith is not going to carelessly discard every program of the current administration. I am very pleased by his promise to continue and expand upon the Jail Chemical Addiction Program - a very successful treatment regimen for inmates suffering from drug addictions, which Sheriff Dukes has poured his heart into during his term of office.

It is essential that we continue Republican leadership in Kosciusko County. I am confident that Jim Smith will make an excellent sheriff. I urge everyone to give him your support at the ballot box on or before November 8.

Jean Northenor