GRANGEVILLE – “I’m about people serving people, and making sure we are operating under a righteous leadership,” Casey Zechmann said. “I feel I have the integrity and the right intent to lead, as I would expect from a sheriff.”
Zechmann recently announced his intent to run for Idaho County sheriff in the 2020 Republican primary. So far this makes the second person to announce, with current Idaho County Sheriff’s lieutenant Doug Ulmer of Kooskia already under way with his GOP campaign, announced in June.
Candidate filings for the 2020 race are open March 2-19, and the primary election will be May 19.
Zechmann has been manager of Gortsema Auto Body in Grangeville since January of this year, overseeing two technicians, and responsible for insurance claims, overseeing the repair process and customer service. He and his wife, Lori, have seven children, and have lived in Grangeville since July 2018. He currently serves as Grangeville precinct 2 committeeman on the Idaho County Republican Central Committee.
“My main focus and goal, I always wanted to be sheriff since I got into law enforcement,” Zechmann said. His related background is serving 12 years with the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), and prior to that as a reserve officer for two years with the Homedale Police Department. Serving as sheriff is running the department as a business, according to Zechmann, “with ethics, and being honest with our dealings.”
As sheriff, he would want to serve the community, specifically in community-oriented policing.
“You have to get out there and let them know what you represent,” he said.
As a Canyon County deputy, he went into businesses, introduced himself and asked owners about problems they were having or seeing in the community. One of his specialties with CCSO was running the K-9 program, which he sees as a tool to use and expand on in Idaho County. Besides using the dogs for drug interdiction, he would go into the schools to educate kids about the work, which the kids enjoyed and resulted in his being known to them in the community.
He said he has a real concern for the region’s youth, and he has been a mentor in his church, Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and speaking to scouts. He has a specific concern with drugs in schools, and it would be a target to pursue a drug-free environment for kids.
“We’ll never get rid of drugs, but we can definitely try,” he said. “We need to take a proactive position to try to educate our youth and eliminate drugs from our schools, and give our youth a chance to be away from that and move toward college without drugs being a burden in their lives.”
Zechmann sees public support as essential to helping prevent and fight criminal activity.
“We as law enforcement can’t do it all, but if we can get the public on board with common goals – on drugs or whatever it may be – we’ll be so much farther ahead of the game in reducing crime.”
He said it is disturbing, in his local conversations, to hear people don’t bother calling the sheriff’s office or police because, they say, “They don’t do anything.”
“That’s a sad perception, because I don’t really believe they don’t do anything,” he said. “But the perception is there that they don’t do anything, and we want to change that perception. How we do that is be more known, by getting out there and making our presence known.”
Find out more about Zechmann and his campaign through his new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/casey.zechmann.1481 .