Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jon Propst has announced his intent to run for Lincoln County sheriff in 2018. Propst filed paperwork with the Lincoln County Board of Elections on Thursday morning that will allow him to accept donations during his campaign for office.
“Serving our community as sheriff has been a lifelong dream of mine,” Propst said in a press release issued on Thursday. “Sheriff (David) Carpenter has restored the citizen’s faith in the sheriff’s office over the last 6 1/2 years and established a standard of professionalism and accountability. My desire is to continue that standard of excellence and move forward with the policies and procedures already set in place. As your sheriff, Lincoln County residents can expect the same amount of courtesy, respect and hard work as you have received over the past 6 1/2 years.”
Propst, a Republican, is a native of Lincoln County who has more than 14 years of experience in law enforcement. He has served in his current position as the lieutenant in charge of the narcotics unit at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office since May 2015.
Over the years, Propst has also worked as a corrections officer, senior patrol deputy, field training officer, sergeant, gang investigator and general investigator. Throughout his tenure, he has investigated drug offenses, burglaries, sex crimes, fraud, assault and murder cases.
“My extensive experience helps me to understand all aspects of law enforcement,” Propst said. “I’ve worked everywhere from the detention center to investigations and patrol. I believe that my wide range of experience uniquely prepares me for this particular office.”
In addition to his substantial law enforcement experience, Propst is also quite familiar with the realm of Lincoln County politics. He’s a former two-term chairman of the Lincoln County Republican Party and was named Republican of the Year in March.
“My political experience has helped me get to know a lot of good people throughout the entire county from Denver to Pumpkin Center, Iron Station and North Brook,” Propst said. “I’ve also gotten to know all of the county commissioners, the district attorney, (Lincoln County state Rep.) Jason Saine and state Sen. David Curtis. I have a relationship with all of these people because I was able to connect with them during my time as party chairman. I believe I led the party in a way that recognized and represented the entire county. That experience helped me to understand the political atmosphere in Lincoln County and prepared me to run a campaign that’s going to be clean, transparent and honest.”
Propst has worked under Carpenter, who confirmed in March that he will not seek re-election in 2018, since he took office in November 2010. Propst said he believes that Carpenter has the sheriff’s office headed in the right direction and, if elected, he wants to continue to build on that momentum.
“I’ve learned a lot from Sheriff Carpenter,” Propst said. “I’ve learned to be precise and patient in my decision making. He and I have a similar personality when it comes to expecting a standard of excellence. The sheriff’s office wasn’t looked upon favorably under the previous administration and Sheriff Carpenter was able to turn that around while leading by example, which is what I intend to do as well. This is not going to be a change campaign. Several of the other candidates may have opinions about what needs to be done different, but in my opinion Sheriff Carpenter has built the best sheriff’s office in the state, so if I’m elected as sheriff I would keep those policies and procedures in place. If I’m elected, this will be more of a transition than a change.”
If elected, Propst said drug enforcement will continue to be a priority of his, as it has been during his leadership of the narcotics unit.
“It’s a proven fact that aggressive narcotics enforcement will reduce property and violent crime rates,” Propst said. “I will continue with the same philosophy that the sheriff’s office has had in being aggressive against narcotics violators, especially the traffickers and street level dealers. I believe that aggressive narcotics enforcement makes for a safer county and creates a better quality of life for all of our citizens. We will continue to look at different techniques and avenues to catch drug offenders because it continues to be a problem and it will always be a problem. We will not let up and it will be a relentless pursuit of those individuals because my top priority as sheriff is to keep the citizens of Lincoln County safe.”
Propst is the fifth Republican candidate to establish a campaign for the 2018 election of a new Lincoln County sheriff. Lincoln County Board of Commissioners chairman and former Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy Bill Beam, Lincolnton Police Department Lt. Jason Munday, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Tim Johnson and Commissioner Carrol Mitchem are the other Republican candidates. Lincolnton street preacher Alan Hoyle, a 23-year veteran of the Marine Corps, will run as an independent candidate pending a petition with signatures from 4 percent of the registered voters in Lincoln County.
The party primary election for Lincoln County sheriff, in which the winning candidate must receive at least 40 percent of the vote to avoid a second primary election between the top two candidates the following month, is scheduled for May 18, 2018. The general election will take place on Nov. 6, 2018.
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