Former sheriff and a tribal officer challenge incumbent
A contested race for Del Norte County sheriff is shaping up early in this new year.
Sheriff Dean Wilson recently announced his intention to run for re-election, and now two other men have pulled paperwork to possibly mark a place for themselves at the starting blocks for June’s primary election.
Jim Maready said he plans to re-run for sheriff, seeking a third term. Maready was sheriff from 1994 to 2002 before retiring. He is Wilson’s predecessor.
The other possible candidate is Yurok Tribal Police Sgt. Butch Lee, who pulled paperwork last week to gather petition signatures in lieu of filing fees for his candidacy.
Maready worked for the Crescent City Police Department and Sheriff’s Office from 1972 until he was elected in 1994. After retirement, he has served on the Del Norte County Unified School District Board and sits on the Citizens Oversight Committee for Del Norte’s school bonds.
Maready said Wednesday he hopes to reimplement programs and policies that were utilized during his tenure for youths and seniors.
“I’d like to bring those out during the campaign,” said Maready, declining to elaborate on them.
He also said he would like to enhance communications between the Sheriff’s Office and general public.
Lee was previously a sheriff’s deputy before joining the Yurok Tribal Police. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Wilson said recently he decided to run once again to ease the Sheriff’s Office through a transition period in which several high-ranking officers are retiring while others are being promoted. He also said he feels he needs to stick around to see that projects he has had a hand in are completed successfully.
None of the paperwork is binding and potential candidates still have to file it in order to be considered officially running for a position.
The opening day is Feb. 10 and the last day to file is March 7 for the June 3 primary.