The race is on.
Huron County Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Dane Howard, 43, has filed petitions to run as a Democrat for Huron County Sheriff. Howard announced his intention to replace retiring Sheriff Richard Sutherland in August and filed his petitions Monday.
"My 22 years of dedication, integrity and education will allow me to move the sheriff's office into the future," Howard said. "My experience of solving hundreds of felony crimes is evidence of the strong work ethic that I will bring to the office of sheriff."
The New London resident said he plans to realign personnel in the department to better utilize resources. He also plans to target criminals who prey on senior citizens in fraud, abuse and identity theft cases.
Earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Aging awarded Howard with the State Ombudsman Excellent Advocate award earlier for investigating a local embezzlement case. Milan resident Robert Woflkill, 46, is accused of embezzling the life savings of an 84-year-old female victim living in a Norwalk nursing home. Wolfkill's trial in Huron County Common Pleas Court is scheduled for Jan. 8.
Major Greg Englund has said he thinks Howard is "the only officer in the state to receive this award."
Howard, as sheriff, said he also plans to make additional efforts against drugs.
"I will fight the heroin and drug-related crime in Huron County by making an aggressive effort to take advantage of the many available state and federal grants," he said.
Howard and his wife Peggy have been married for 21 years. They have three children, aged 17, 18 and 19.
Howard will face Sheriff's Capt. James Bracken, a Republican, next November.
The two candidates have worked together in the sheriff's office for many years.