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Mason County Sheriff Candidates Fight For Votes on Primary Ballot

Meet the candidates.
HAVANA - It' s been more than 60 years since a Republican Party member held the sheriff’s seat in Mason County, now Jim Kinzer and Thomas Hardesty both hope they'll be the GOP candidate on the ballot.

But first they're facing off against each other in the primary.

Kinzer spent the bulk of his career with the Mason County Sheriff’s Department.

"I enjoy helping the people of the county, mainly the kids. We need to make sure our kids are taken care of, there's so much child abuse and neglect going on and two working parents, we need to be there to help guide them the right way," Kinzer said.

Hardesty logged most of his experience with the Illinois State Police.

"I have a lot to offer that Illinois State Police taught me a lot. I think I can offer a lot to the citizens of Mason County since this is my home county. I would like to come back and share that experience and improve the county for the citizens," Hardesty said.

Both claim the battle against drugs would be a top priority.

"I would like to see the sheriff's department get back into the Illinois State Police Drug Task Force as well as try to obtain a drug dog for the county. I believe a drug dog would be very beneficial to the county. Not only would it help deter the crime, but one good drug haul would help pay for itself as well as several other officers," Hardesty said.

Kinzer said he's working on a program called break free for drug interception,” just stop the drugs at the root you know the meth is down but now the heroin is up so we need to keep the kids educated and away from that."

Watch the full interviews with both candidates above.
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