Appointed sheriff says he will run for office
By Sarah Lison, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
March 23, 2010
Teton County Sheriff Jim Whalen said Monday he will run for the position he was appointed to in January 2009.
Whalen said he met with his election committee late last week and decided it was time for him to announce his candidacy.
“Internally, things are going great, I think morale is high, I’ve been in the business for a little more than 30 years and I realized this is why I went and got my education,” Whalen said.
He said he’d like to continue working on improving communication between the public and the sheriff’s office, citing the launch of the office’s Web site, www.tetonsheriff.org, last summer and an open house program that began in June.
Whalen said he also hopes to start a program aimed at reducing drunken driving called Teton Tipsy Taxi. The sheriff’s office hosted an informational meeting March 5 in which law enforcement and community members heard about the Aspen, Colo., Tipsy Taxi program. Aspen’s Tipsy Taxi is funded with community donations and provides vouchers to bar patrons who become too intoxicated to drive home.
Whalen, a Republican, said he would almost look at the position as apolitical.
“Everyone is treated equally under the law,” he said. “I’m just a career cop who happens to be running for sheriff.”
Whalen will register as a candidate in May, ahead of the August primary. The general election will be Nov. 2. No one else has announced a candidacy.
If elected, Whalen would serve a four-year term. There are no term limits for the sheriff.