Living in Society

A Sheriff’s Race for 2020

Brad Kunkel (right) Formally Announcing Campaign for County Sheriff

Big Grove Precinct has two voters elected to the Johnson County Democratic central committee, Brad Kunkel and me.

At the central committee meeting on Thursday, May 2, Kunkel formally announced his campaign to become sheriff when Lonny Pulkrabek retires at the end of his 16 years in office. Here’s a link to the Cedar Rapids Gazette’s coverage of his announcement.

I’ve known and followed Brad’s law enforcement career and work in the community for a long time. Kunkel has 18 years with the Johnson County Sheriff’s office where he is a detective sergeant. He participated when he could when we held political events in town, and was a Solon city councilor before moving to our rural precinct.

Having a sheriff’s race during the run up to the 2020 general election creates a different and welcome dynamic. By nature of the position, a candidate for sheriff must reach out to a broad slice of the electorate. Many voters who don’t normally participate in politics become active, increasing overall turnout. In addition, a sheriff’s campaign cuts across party lines to create its own electorate, different from races further up the ticket. Brad Kunkel is a solid candidate who has been active in Democratic politics.

The primary election is June 2, 2020 with the filing period opening March 2 for county offices.