Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved parades. I mean really what kid doesn’t, right? Of course, I grew up in East Peoria so we had one of the most exciting parades, the Festival of Lights parade. Well, now that I am an adult, I think I love parades even more! Think about it, most people are not forced to be there, so they actually are happy and full of smiles. (unless they are pelted in the eye by a piece of candy)
Over the years I have walked in many parades as the coordinator for Crimestoppers. My wife and I and kids have always enjoyed walking in parades, meeting new people, and being a part of some very fun days! Now, we get to continue our walks in our effort to become the Sheriff of Tazewell County.
Our team of supporters have been amazing this year as we have been a part of the Tremont Turkey Festival Parade, the Mack-a-fest parade, and the Hopedale 4th of July Parade. I can’t tell you how excited I am for the upcoming parades in September in Delavan, Pekin, and Morton. We are always looking for walkers that support my vision for the Sheriff’s Office, and want to be a part of something fun and exciting!
You see, this is no ordinary political movement. This is a group of people from all walks of life who want change, and believe in our vision for the future of Tazewell County. Even though my name is on the signs along with my huge face, this is about a team of people coming together, working together, and believing together. This is about Unity, Transparency, and Leadership. I believe in the men and women in the Sheriff’s Office and I am ready, willing, and able to lead the office forward. I am full of ideas, energy, and very passionate about becoming your Sheriff.
We would love to have you join us in September for one or all of the parades! Here are the dates:
Delavan Fall Festival: Monday, September 4th (Labor Day)
Pekin Marigold Festival: Saturday, September 9th
Morton Pumpkin Festival: Saturday, September 16th
We will welcome you with a HUGE smile and set you up with a cool t-shirt and give you a big hug! (both are free!) Many of our supporters have come together and have developed friendships, and of course we all share plenty of good laughs! (we also eat a lot of candy along the way!)
If you would like to sign up, we would love to have you. You can email us at email@example.com, or you can visit our website at http://www.eetenforsheriff.com. Click on the volunteer tab and you can go from there!
Thank you for believing in me! I am humbled by your support and I look forward to seeing you!
I never thought I would run for a public office. I do not consider myself a “politician” and I certainly do not like the drama, the name calling, dirty politics, and mud slinging that comes with it. I have made a promise which I will keep, not to attack my opponent, name call, or play games with other peoples lives.
What has happened to us as Americans? We have become a society that will walk on anyone to get ahead. We see family members walk all over their own family. We see politicians try to hang on to control and will do anything to keep that power and control even if it is wrong or even illegal. We see political battles between the left and the right and we see heated arguments about politics like we have never seen before. We see this hate being spread and as Police Officers we have become targets. Many Officers are losing their lives for standing for what is right and good. As Americans, we have always stood together! We could always stand next to someone that we did not necessarily agree with in Unity as fellow Americans, however that seems to be changing. I love this nation and I am proud to be an American, but I am sad by what I see right now. I have the choice to sit back and complain, or I can stand and do my part in my community to do something good.
I became a Police Officer to do good, to protect, encourage, serve, and because I care. I did not answer this calling to abuse my authority, to put others down, or to try and destroy others. I decided to run for Sheriff because I truly believe in the men and women who serve the citizens in our county at the Sheriff’s Office. This campaign is not about getting me a new job. This is about a team of people working together to make a change that will benefit our county and those working for the Sheriff’s Office. I am passionate about our vision for the future, and I am not going to back down, slow down, or give up.
This campaign has not been easy for my family, but I am doing what I am called to do and what I believe is right. I will tell you, Courtney and I are having so much fun meeting people throughout this county. We are encouraged by the support and love we have received so far. I don’t claim to know everything or have all of the answers. However, I do have the knowledge and experience to lead, encourage, and equip people to be the very best they can be, and that will bring us great success!
As you can imagine, it takes a lot of financial resources to run a county wide campaign. We have been doing fundraisers throughout the year to raise money. We have a fun one coming up if you are interested in coming out and joining us for a fun evening. Please RSVP so we can save you a spot! I am excited to jump in and try my hand at painting. However, there is a good possibility that my art will be classified as “abstract”. 🙂
Thank you for believing in me and for your support! If you have any questions, I am always accessible by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call or text me at 309.603.1065.
This weekend was a busy one for many and we were certainly no exception! I was asked to emcee the cardboard boat regatta at the Pekin Boat Club. I must say that this is the first time that I ever was an emcee for cardboard boat races and it was fun day! Several teams worked hard to create an attractive looking boat, and of course the most important detail is whether it could float or at least survive the race!
We did have a couple boats sink, but for the most part they held up really well. We had one make it 28 seconds before it was no longer visible. After the boat races, there was a cookout and all proceeds from the entry fees and food went to St. Jude. It was fun to see so many people over the weekend working hard in various ways to support St. Jude!
Next stop was Minier for the annual “Corn Daze” festival! Who knew corn on the cob could taste that good! We attended the community church service, enjoyed great food, saw some great talent on the stage, went to the car show, watched a mini rod pull, and did I mention we ate A LOT of food? I even took my lovely bride on horse drawn carriage ride. Just look how excited she was in the picture below!
Haha! Actually I snapped this right when the horses took off and jolted us pretty good. We started laughing so hard and I just about dropped the phone! I have to tell you, we love small town festivals. It is so fun to see a community come together, take pride in what they do, and are so welcoming to people who visit their town.
I want to thank the wonderful citizens of Miner for making us feel so welcome and for your support! I want to thank the Police Officers in Minier for their work during the festival and always being present in the background to make sure everyone is safe. We look forward to coming back to the Corn Daze next year!
I must say when I first got into Law Enforcement things were much different than now. I knew going in that being a Police Officer was a dangerous job, but I never knew that I would see attacks on Police Officers as we do today.
The day I first got my badge and was sworn in as a Police Officer, I was so proud! Up to that day in my life, I had been all around the Country, had many amazing opportunities in the music business, had met many famous people, and had even made a decent living. All of those experiences pale in comparison to the moment I held the badge in my hand for the first time. That moment forever changed me. I never saw that badge as a “get out of jail free” or a “pass to speed” down the highway. I never saw it as my way to have “power” over others. The day I got my badge after being sworn in, I could not put it down because I loved to look at it. To me, putting that badge on meant so much to me. It meant tremendous responsibility, it meant honor, and it meant integrity.
I never knew some of the things my eyes would see, the pain I would feel, and the despair I would witness. I never actually thought I would see the barrel of a gun pointed at my head, or have to fight for my own life outside of a bar during a call. I never thought I would have to see a friend die in the line of duty. I never thought I would have to walk in and see a young girl who I pastored in my youth group lying dead on the floor from a heroin overdose, or that I would walk in and see a nurse who we all worked with murdered in her own home. I never thought I would know an officer that has taken their own life, or that I would have to watch a child die. I never thought I would be the last person the victim of a car accident talked to before he passed away. I never thought I would see so many Police Officers around the Country executed just for wearing a badge.
Today, Officers are being attacked on a regular basis just for wearing the badge. Just a couple of days ago on July 27th, Lt. Aaron Allan (nicknamed Teddy Bear) from Southport, Indiana was fatally shot when he responded to a car accident involving a car that was flipped over. That Officer responded as fast as he could to help, only to be shot and killed by the victim in the car. As that gentle giant “Teddy Bear” rushed to that car knowing he could help, he never thought that would be his last act of service.
I must admit that being a Police Officer today is not easy. There are many nights with no sleep. Many scenes are replayed when you close your eyes. It is very frustrating to be spit on, yelled at, and mocked for doing the right thing all while being recorded by someones cell phone that is stuck in your face. However, I am still as proud today to hold that badge in my hand than I was the day I got it. We have so many amazing and talented Law Enforcement Officers throughout our County. Men and Women who put in many long hours, who care, and work hard to protect their communities.
I am proud to serve as a Police Officer, and proud to run for Tazewell County Sheriff. I know that I will be able to to fulfill the three major objectives I have set in this campaign. Transparency, Unity, and Leadership. As the Sheriff, I will always stand along side our Officers, support them, pray for them, and move forward together.
Thank you for believing in me,
Jumping into this race, I have certainly learned even more about who I am by putting myself out there publicly. Sharing with people what I believe and why I believe it, has really been something I have enjoyed.
Someone asked me recently “What kind of Leader are you?” That is not the typical question that I get from people during this campaign. I usually get questions like “What is your vision” or “What will be the first thing you will do when you are elected” and of course many others. Those are great questions, but “What kind of Leader are you” is an EXCELLENT question.
Recently I started putting a phrase on some of our material that says “Not a Politician…a servant Leader”. But what is a Servant Leader? I really believe that to be an effective leader, I must be willing to serve along side those that work in the Sheriff’s Office. I must will be willing to see that I am no greater than any person in the Sheriff’s Office, I will just have a different role to play. A Servant Leader does not sit at the top and order things done by those around him/her, the Leader must be willing to get their hands dirty and work along side those that they are responsible for. There is a tremendous difference between a “Boss” and a Leader. A boss says “go do it” and a Servant Leader says “Let’s go do it!”
Servant Leadership: Servant Leadership begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve…to make sure other peoples highest priority needs are met. (Greenleaf 1970)
The following are 10 characteristics of a Servant Leader published by Northouse in 2016.
- Listening – Servant Leaders listen first
- Empathy – Servant Leaders see the world through the eyes of others
- Heal – Servant Leaders wish to make the injured healed
- Awareness – Servant Leaders are aware of their physical, social, and political environments
- Persuasion – Servant Leaders persuade by the gentle nonjudgmental argument to create change
- Conceptualization – Servant Leaders visualize the big future
- Foresight – Servant Leaders use the past and present to plan for the future
- Stewardship – Servant Leaders take responsibility
- Commitment to people – Servant Leaders place a premium on the individual
- Building Community – Servant Leaders seek to create union or synergy
I will provide strong forward thinking Leadership and will cultivate a culture of trust within the Sheriff’s Office. As the Sheriff, I will not be a dictator, but a Leader and an encouragement to those around me. It is time for a change, and an opportunity for the people within the Sheriff’s office to feel valued and appreciated for their service.
I always say thank you for believing in me! I mean that! I have spoken to so many people throughout the county who have been a real encouragement to me. We will keep pushing toward the goal! Thank you for taking the time to read more about me! Don’t forget to stop by our website as well! http://www.eetenforsheriff.com
I hear from people all the time that say “I did not know those things about you until I read your blog”. As a candidate for Sheriff, one of the things that I have spoke a lot about is Transparency. So, I have found it to be refreshing to let you know about me more on a personal level. I have committed this blog to talking about past experiences, funny stories, and just life in general. I am a normal guy with a willingness to serve, and a vision for the Sheriff’s Office. So, this week I thought I would touch on some Volunteer Service I have been involved with.
First of all, I must say that I really appreciate folks in smaller communities who step up to serve their communities through volunteer work as a Fireman or Ambulance personnel. For many years I lived in Tremont which is an amazing community full of great hard working people who truly care about their neighbors. I had the privilege of working with “Tremont Rescue 702” which is the private ambulance service in town. I served as an ambulance driver for many years and really enjoyed it. Many of these men and women take “on call” times which they must stay in the village and be ready when the pager goes off. This means being able to leave work or home in a moments notice and go help people in the community that need them. The same is true for the Fireman who must train and spend a lot of time preparing, keeping the trucks ready, and raising money to keep the department up to date with important and needed equipment.
I definitely have my share of funny stories from my days helping the ambulance service including getting the ambulance stuck in the snow and getting out and digging snow away from the tires with a oxygen face mask (only thing I had) to try and get the ambulance unstuck.
If you serve as a volunteer…Thank you for your service! If you live in a small community, please consider joining your local ambulance or Fire Department. It is something you will really enjoy, and you will be doing a tremendous service to your community.
While I have your attention, we have our next Coffee planned for this next Saturday (July 22nd from 9am to 10:30am at Mauries in Pekin. We have been holding theses in communities across the county and have really enjoyed meeting people who stop by and say hi. I hope that you will consider stopping in to say hi this coming Saturday!
Don’t forget to stop by our website where you can go to write an endorsement, sign up to volunteer, or even donate to our campaign! (www.eetenforsheriff.com) Thank you for your support and for believing in me!
What does it mean to be an American to you? Here is what some kids had to say when asked “What does Freedom mean to you?”
“Eating as many ice creams as I want”
“We can do anything we want like not going to school.”
“Being able to watch my favorite channel Star Plus, Cartoon Network whenever I like.”
“Going for school tours. Only 4th and 5th class students go for tours. We 3rd class students are not allowed.”
Being an American I have always celebrated the Freedom that we have in this great Nation and I have always been able to celebrate the American Spirit which has always taught us to never give up, to work hard, and to rally together during hard times to take care of one another.
There is no doubt that our Country is more divided than we have ever been. Many point the finger to a certain political party, or group, or even a past or current President. No matter what your political affiliation is, we are all Americans. We have the Freedom to form our own opinions and beliefs, and to disagree with each other, but when did it turn so evil and hateful? There is plenty of blame to go around, but what will that accomplish? I remember the days after September 11th, 2001. I remember seeing American flags everywhere. I remember the attitude of people changing and people coming together in Unity to support each other through such a horrible tragedy. It did not matter what church you went to, what political party you were affiliated with, or how much money you had. We ALL came together and showed support. That to me is what being an American is all about.
We have attacks in this Country on a regular basis now whether it is Terrorists related or an insider at a business, night club, school, or a flat out ambush on a Police Officer who never saw it coming. Where are the Americans that came together in Unity like in 2001?
I read the kids responses to what Freedom means to them and it makes me smile because it is so innocent. I am challenged as an American now more than ever to teach my kids how to deal with and love those around them that they don’t agree with, or are flat out rude and disrespectful. I am challenged to teach them to stand for what they believe in, but not being disrespectful or hateful when someone challenges them. I am challenged to teach them to pray for those who persecute them for their beliefs, but to stand firm.
Abraham Lincoln said “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
We need strong leaders in elected positions that will not try and destroy others, but will set the example. We need leaders who will encourage and promote Unity. I have said from the start of my campaign, that I will not play “dirty politics”, or try and destroy and bring down an opponent. Instead, we will push toward our vision, build on our strengths, and bring a fresh and positive perspective to the Sheriff’s Office. I will be a Sheriff for ALL people, not just Republicans, Democrats, or Independents.
There is so much negative around us, but in the coming days, be encouraged because we live in the greatest nation on earth. I am proud to be an American!
Happy Independence Day!