PRIEST RIVER, Idaho - Shaun Winkler wants to be the Bonner County Sheriff and took some time Monday to explain why.
Winkler was out Monday afternoon mixing with the public and talking about his campaign goals like cracking down on drug crimes and sexual predators.
"I believe it's about time that we have a strong law enforcement stance against certain criminals in our neighborhood," said Winkler. He also thinks federal agencies like the FBI shouldn't have jurisdiction at the county level.
The 33-year-old runs a landscaping business and doesn't have any law enforcement background.
"If you've never worn the pants you don't know what those man and women are going through out there," said Larry Schulze of Priest River.
A check of his court records, however, reveals he was convicted in 2004 on charges of witness intimidation. But, because he satisfied all the terms of his judgment, he is clear to run for office.
That's not the only thing that has some people raising an eyebrow. Winkler openly admits he used to have affiliations with the Aryan Nations and says he's the leader of the local White Knights of the KKK.
"It's not that I hate anybody who's not white. Again I'm a white separatist. I believe there should be separation and segregation in every community," Winkler said.
Winkler claims he's not running for sheriff to push any personal agenda and that as sheriff everyone should be treated equally. However he said there is one point that overlaps.
"We are family-oriented. We are concerned about our neighborhood, about our communities," he said.
There are three Republicans on the ballot for sheriff, including the current Bonner County Sheriff and Ponderay Police Officer Tim Fry. Fry has worked for both the Sandpoint and Ponderay police departments.
"How are you an effective sheriff if a portion of your community doesn't even feel like they are on board with what you believe personally," Fry asked.
Winkler acknowledges a majority of the community may be against him but he says it's not all about race. It's about issues like drugs and crime that everyone should be concerned about.
"I believe if the masses of BonnerCountywoke up to the truth, open their eyes to see what is going on around them, I do believe I have a good chance," Winkler said.
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