Rock County sheriff candidates talk politics, improvements


Politics are a problem when it comes to running the Rock County Sheriff’s Office.

At least that seems to be the opinion of Jude Maurer, a sheriff’s office captain and candidate for sheriff.

“No politics, no entitlements, no controversies” was the slogan Maurer voiced at least twice at a candidates forum Wednesday in a packed board room at the Kolak Education Center.

Maurer suggested that politics have kept county law enforcement from merging the three SWAT teams maintained by Janesville and Beloit police and the sheriff’s office.

Maurer said he would work to merge the units to save money, something he said has been discussed for years but didn’t happen because of “the power play.”

Maurer said he is running as a Republican not out of political leanings, but because he was told if he ran as a Democrat, he would be an also-ran in the primary, and the person who ran previously—apparently candidate Gary Groelle—would win.

Maurer said he would not be a career sheriff, and he would serve either one or two four-year terms before retiring.

Maurer, Groelle and Troy Knudson are the three sheriff candidates. Groelle and Knudson face off in the Aug. 14 primary. Maurer faces the winner in the Nov. 6 election.

Knudson said he is “very pleased with how the sheriff’s office is operating,” but he called for improvements, including more training so deputies are better prepared for encounters with members of minority groups.

When asked about fears among local…

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