Kane County voters next month will decide which Republican candidate for sheriff will make it to the November ballot.
The winner of the March 18 primary – either Kane County Lt. Kevin Williams or retired Kane County Lt. Donald Kramer – will face Democrat Willie Mayes Sr. in the general election.
Sheriff Pat Perez, a Democrat, is not seeking another term.
Both Republican candidates live in Geneva and have decades of law enforcement experience.
During his 30 years at the Kane County Sheriff’s Office, Kramer managed shifts in the correctional center and patrol division; coordinated a traffic safety program; wrote more than $1 million in grants; and gained experience in the civil enforcement division.
Williams has spent nearly 22 years with the sheriff’s office. His experience includes investigating street gangs, working as an undercover narcotics officer and building partnerships with school officials, local governments and the community.
In the past several years, Williams said, he has spoken with parents and grandparents about heroin and has participated in a heroin panel. If elected, he said, he would continue to educate the public about the drug as a way to combat its growing abuse.
Kramer said heroin use is a major problem, but identifying kids who need help is critical in solving that issue.
That’s why he would spend more time investigating juvenile delinquency, a “serious problem” that often leads to involvement in drugs and alcohol, he said.
Kramer doesn’t intend to come in and gut the organization, he said, but he would want to create a strong administrative structure that oversees the operation of each division.
Williams said he would take programs Perez incorporated and blend them with his ideas.
For example, he would like to continue and expand the sheriff’s office use of social media to make the office more accessible to residents.
As a manager, Williams described himself as a “proven leader” who scolds in private and praises in public. He would want to ensure employees have an equal chance for promotion, he said.
Kramer described himself as “team builder” who would promote a healthy work environment and would incorporate more input from employees.
Earlier this month, Kramer announced his choice for undersheriff is David Wagner, the office’s current undersheriff.
Williams said Wagner is a great asset to the sheriff’s office and would be part of his staff but not as undersheriff.