Get to know the three candidates running for sheriff in Kootenai County

KOOTENAI CO., Idaho — There will soon be a new sheriff in Kootenai County. 

The three candidates on the November ballot have different plans and priorities for North Idaho. 

Two weeks from now, voters in Kootenai County will pick a new sheriff to replace Ben Wolfinger, who is retiring after serving since 2013. 

Justin Nagel is the only candidate raised in Kootenai County, and the only one without any official law enforcement experience. He’s worked as a private investigator since 2003. 

“Learned a lot about what was going on and what people needed and gaps that law enforcement agencies weren’t picking up on,” said Nagel. 

Bauer spent 33 years with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office and retired as a captain. 

Robert Norris also worked for the LA County Sheriff’s Office and brings 30 years of law enforcement experience. 

We asked the three candidates what their top goals and priorities would be as sheriff. 

“First of all, we’re going to have town hall meetings throughout this county and we want to know what your concerns and issues are and what your experiences have been with the sheriff’s office,” said Norris. 

“We’re also going to every unit within the organization to how we can make it more efficient and how to better serve you, the Kootenai County resident,” said Norris.   

Nagel says retiring deputies is one of the biggest issues in the county. 

Bauer thinks funding will be a larger problem moving forward. 

“I will do the job with the money you give me with a smile on my face but sooner or later, we’re going to need to expand some things here and some staffing, jail beds will increase with the additional population,” said Bauer.