Editor, Times-Union:

I have known Jim Smith for 11 years, and when it comes time for you to choose our county’s next sheriff, I ask you to choose Jim Smith.

There are several reasons to choose Jim, the first and foremost is what you see is what you get. I can say with my reputation on the line that he is extremely trustworthy, if he tells you something, he means it. I have stated that he should run on the stance of “no political promises and just the truth” because truth is what you’ll get with Jim, he’ll always be honest and transparent. I believe he will tell you the truth no matter how it might sway your opinion of voting, and that means more to me than hearing a political answer that you might get from others.

When I first met Jim, he was interested in getting to know me. He wanted to know about me because he is the kind of person that cares about people, and now years later I can say I appreciate the times and conversations I’ve had with him due to his caring nature. He is always interested in what you're saying and can always give you a needed opinion or advice. He is one of those people that always asks how your family is doing, but he isn’t just asking to ask, he legitimately cares about everyone.

I have stated earlier that with my reputation on the line, I fully support Jim Smith. I wouldn’t do that for just anyone. I previously worked for the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, so for me to take a stance like this supporting a person going up against an incumbent sheriff, I need to wholeheartedly agree with the person’s beliefs and stances. I believe Jim will be the leader the department needs in times like today. I believe he will be the person that is fiscally responsible that won’t put unnecessary burdens on taxpayers in a time where some people can’t and shouldn’t have to take on such burdens. I believe he will think through every decision he makes and make the best decision possible for the community as a whole. I believe he will surround himself with a vast and knowledgeable group of people that will help make the department run as efficiently and professionally as possible.

I will end with a story that I think of often. Jim and I were on the way to a football game where on the way we got food to go. I noticed Jim took his hat off and said a prayer. Once we finished eating, Jim placed his hat back on. I then asked Jim why he removed his hat to eat. He told me he takes his hat off to eat and pray to show respect and thank God for his gifts.

I believe with the traits I have stated, Jim possesses the moral ethics, a noble principle of caring for people, and honesty that I want not only in a leader, but as the leader of our Sheriff’s Department.

James Zimmerman

Burket, via email