Kevin Hirsch, 56, of Fults, formally announced this week that he is seeking the office of Monroe County Sheriff this November as an Independent.
Hirsch, who works at Menard Correctional Center in Chester as a sergeant of guards and serves as president of the union representing the prison’s employees, has previously run for sheriff as a Republican. He was defeated by current Monroe County Sheriff Dan Kelley both times.
In this latest run, Hirsch must collect a minimum of 880 signatures on his candidacy petition by the filing deadline of June 23 to qualify as a candidate. The filing period begins June 16.
If successful, Hirsch would be listed along with Republican candidate Neal Rohlfing and Democrat candidate Dennis Schreder on the November ballot.
“I know it’s a tall order to get that many signatures,” Hirsch said. “But the benefit of me running as an Independent is that I won’t be beholden to any party.”
Monroe County Clerk Dennis Knobloch explained that Hirsch must submit paperwork signed by qualified voters of the county equaling not less than 5 percent nor more than 8 percent of the number of persons who voted at the next preceding general election (November 2012).
The total voters in that election were 17,582, so 5 percent of that number is a minimum of 880 signatures.
“In comparison, candidates for the March Primary Election were required to collect 73 signatures to be on the ballot for that event,” Knobloch said.
Hirsch said that “having witnessed the degradation of the Governor’s office by Republicans and Democrats, corruption is obviously non-partisan.”
Conversely, Hirsch said he is impressed with the support and conscientiousness demonstrated by State Rep. Jerry Costello II (D-Smithton) and State Sen. Dave Luechtefeld (R-Okawville) in addressing Illinois Department of Corrections issues.
“I believe in fairness and the equitable treatment of all people,” Hirsch said. “Having that credence is what has inadvertently built a resume that affords me the diverse law enforcement, labor and life experience to serve as sheriff.”
Hirsch previously served as a deputy coroner under Monroe County coroners Dee Stumpf and Julie Gummersheimer, whom he admired for their compassion and professionalism of service. He also admired those same qualities demonstrated by past circuit clerks Leroy and Aaron Reitz.
“As an Independent candidate for sheriff, I can serve all citizens without prejudice or bias and simultaneously applaud partisans on both sides of the aisle that serve admirably,” he said.