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Former Rigby mayor challenges Jefferson County sheriff

By By Jessica Crandall
Published On: Oct 31 2012 09:10:35 PM CDT
Updated On: Nov 01 2012 07:20:16 PM CDT

Things are really heating up in the race for Jefferson County sheriff.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Idaho -

Things are really heating up in the race for Jefferson County sheriff.
 
Former mayor Ryan Brown is taking on 24-year veteran Blair Olsen as a write-in candidate.
 
These two men are not only pillars of the community, but they worked together in the sheriff's office for two years.

Former candidate Jeff Poole asked Brown to run after he lost by a small margin in the primary.

By then it was too late to get his name on the ballot, but a lot of people already know Brown from his time as mayor.

Elections are usually a walk in the park for Sheriff Blair Olsen.
 
In fact, he hasn't had to deal with an opponent in 20 years.
 
"When you run for re-election, I think it's healthy if someone runs against you. It brings out issues that sometimes you wouldn't necessarily hear if you were unopposed," said Olsen.

When his chief deputy Jeff Poole ran against him back in May, the community seemed to divide in favor of both parties.
 
Olsen came out on top, but only by 138 votes.

Then Ryan Brown threw his hat into the race as a write-in candidate this summer.

He said Olsen is a good leader, but it's time for a change.

"The main thing that we are running this campaign for, and we have been from the very beginning, is to restore public trust. That's what it's about. That's what I'm about," said Brown.

Brown said a lot of people were shaken up when they found out Olsen had given his wife a cell phone paid for by the county.

"It's up to leadership and elected officials to address those concerns, especially when it involves taxpayers dollars," said Brown.

But county commissioners audited the Sheriff's Office and approved of what they found.

"It's been a good run. We've had some good support from the people who have felt like we built some trust," said Olsen.

Jefferson County had really low numbers of voters going to the polls for the primaries.

Both candidates encourage everyone to get out and vote.
 
Election Day is a week from Tuesday.
 
For a full list of candidates in Jefferson County, visit this link.

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