Three Candidates Run For Jefferson Co. Sheriff

First Time Sheriff Opposed In 20 Years

RIGBY, Idaho - Now that candidates for Idaho's May primaries have all filed, campaign 2012 is officially under way.

With no opposing candidate since 1992, the Jefferson County Sheriff's race might be one of the most interesting races to watch.

The race started with controversy last month when former Chief Deputy Jeff Poole was put on administrative leave when he declared his intention to file for candidacy against his current boss, Sheriff Blair Olsen. Although controversial, under the Jefferson County handbook, it is a standard policy.

Since then, a third candidate has entered the race.

Olsen was first elected as Jefferson County sheriff in 1988. He was challenged in 1992, but since then no one has run against him.

While two other candidates have filed to oppose him this year, at 55 years old, Olsen says he is not ready to retire.

"I have had a lot of support over the years, and I hope to continue what we have been doing and expand on some of the programs we've got here and try to keep things running like we have for the last 23 years,? Olsen said.

Olsen stressed he wants to continue to work with other organizations to secure grants to educate teens about dangers online and with substance abuse.

Poole declared he was running nearly a month ago.

While Olsen and Poole have worked together for more than two decades, Poole says he would run the office differently.

"It's been proven once you serve in a position for so long, you kind of get set in your ways and it's a little hard to accept new ideas or change with times," Poole said.

Poole said if elected, he would work harder to combat the county's drug problems, as well as crack down on stray animals.

The third candidate in the race is Christopher Danielson.

Danielson served as a level one reserve for the Rigby Police Department for five years and served a year-long tour in Iraq with the Idaho National Guard.

Danielson said he hopes to better educate the youth on drugs and crime and wants to impose a zero-tolerance policy for drunken drivers.

"The reason I want to run for sheriff is I think the people of Jefferson County are ready for change. They are ready to see some new faces in the sheriffs office,? Danielson said. ?Since serving in the military, I have experience in a leadership position."

Primary election day is May 15.

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