Meet the Candidates for Rice County Sheriff

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“In Minnesota, the sheriff is elected every four years, maintaining a direct connection between the populace and the chief law officer of the county. The Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement protection and service throughout the county, operates and maintains a detention facility (Jail), act as officers of the court provide courthouse security and prisoner conveyance, directs emergency management, conduct search and rescue operations, and oversees recreational education and enforcement.” – Description from the Rice County Sheriff’s Office

Candidates:
Jesse Thomas (incumbent)
Ross Spicer

Jesse Thomas

Q. Please list any current political offices you hold.
A. Rice County Sheriff

Q. Please list any civic, community, or professional organizations/clubs your a part of.
A. Rice County Salvation Army Advisory Chair, HOPE Center Board member, Knights of Columbus, Moose Lodge 2098

Q. What qualifies for the office your running for?
A. I am a life long resident of Rice County, I have a BS in Criminal Justice from St. Mary’s University. In 2015 I attended the new Sheriff/Chief Deputy class through the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, In 2017 I completed the FBI LEEDS 40 hour class, In 2021 I completed the Bureau of Criminal Apprehensions Senior Management Program. I have 26 years of Law Enforcement experience in Rice County, twelve of those years are at an administrative level (Lieutenant, Chief Deputy). I was a Patrol Sergeant prior to moving into the administrative role.

Q. What inspired you to run for office?
A. I decided to make being Sheriff one of my goals early on in my career. I have enjoyed working with different groups of people most of career. Law Enforcement spends a lot time responding to calls where they deal with people who are sometimes at the worst point of their lives. It is rewarding being able to find ways to help them to become better members of our community. I want to continue to be part of that positive change while enforcing laws and holding those who prey on others accountable.

Q. What is something that you would like to accomplish while in office?
A. I used to oversee the Sheriff’s Office’s Explorer program. I would like to look at bringing this program back to the Sheriff’s Office. As the atmosphere around Law Enforcement continues to change we need to adapt and find ways to spark Law Enforcement interest in our next generations. I would like to create some additional structure in the Sheriff’s Office by adding two Captain positions. I have been involved with the design of the new Public Safety Center since 2019 so I plan on focusing some of my time on the completion of that project, which includes our new jail. As Chief Deputy I had some opportunities to suggest change, but not all was carried out so I have some smaller internal changes that I think will be beneficial to the overall performance of the Sheriff’s Office. I want to continue to build relationships with all of our community partners which makes solving future problems easier to accomplish.

Q. What does being a leader mean to you?
A. Working with my team to establish the best practices that achieve the goals that we have set, while at the same time building team members up so they can someday become leaders to carry on the mission of the Sheriff’s Office.

Ross Spicer

Q. Please list any current political offices you hold. Please list any previous political office you’ve held.
A. n/a

Q. Please list any civic, community, or professional organizations/clubs your a part of.
A. I am currently a member of the Moose Lodge international.

Q. What qualifies for the office your running for?
A. I have been in Law Enforcement for approximately 20 years. I am currently a Sergeant with the Rice County Sheriff’s Office. I have been a Sergeant for 10 years. I have been a leader in our Defensive tactics program and Verbal tactics as well. I have been a leader for the Rice County court house for 4 years, and currently run the Investigations Divison in the Sheriff’s Office.

Q. What inspired you to run for office? If you running for reelection why do you want to stay in office?
A. What has inspired me is the desire to help and lead a community. I would love to be the voice for the people and the Sheriff’s Office. It has been a goal of mine since I was growing up. Just the fact knowing you can change someones life and able to listen to the people brings me pleasure. I want to be that one person that can change and adapt to the new era of Law Enforcement.

Q. What is something that you would like to accomplish while in office?
A. The thing I would like to change in office would be to bring the community and Law Enforcement back together. We are at a time where Law Enforcement is viewed as military powered. I would like to think we can help change that perspective. I want to bring all law enforcement in the County together and form some of action plan to all work together. We all need to tackle the issues in the County and work as one. These are just two goals right now.

Q. What does being a leader mean to you?
A. Being a leader to me is someone who is action oriented, collaborative, resilient, with hight integrity. Someone who is a great communicator that can relate to the people. I feel that is the traits I have. I want to lead the Rice County Sheriff’s Office with honesty, and integrity for the people. You also have to be that leader who leads from the front and back. You have to surround yourself with great staff that can assist you as well. Leader also means that you have to listen to everyone. You always don’t have to have an answer, but people want to see if you can listen. Thank you . Ross Spicer

 
 

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