Union endorses Kindler for sheriff

Published 1:54 pm Friday, October 1, 2010

The union that represents the area’s officers of the law has endorsed challenger Bob Kindler in the race for Freeborn County sheriff.

The Minnesota Teamsters Public and Law Enforcement Employees Union Local 320 represents Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office correction officers, licensed patrol deputies and jail sergeants. It also represents Albert Lea Police Department officers and dispatchers.

Members tallied the ballots on Thursday.

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Kindler, a detective/supervisor for the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office, is running against second-term incumbent Sheriff Mark Harig.

“It is quite an honor to be judged by your peers as the candidate they trust to lead the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office,” said Kindler. “To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time in the history of Freeborn County that the union representing the law enforcement community has endorsed a candidate for sheriff.  That demonstrates not only the importance of this election but also gives union members a voice on the future direction of the sheriff’s office.”

Ryan Merkouris of the Albert Lea Police Department credited Kindler’s experience on “all aspects of the job” and the respect Kindler has gained from his fellow co-workers for the endorsement.

“With his education and experience overall, he’s the best candidate to run the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office for the next four years,” said Merkouris, who ran in the race but was eliminated in the primary election.

Merkouris is the union steward for the Albert Lea Police Department.

“It just goes to show that with the people that work for or with him, shows that there’s change needed within the Sheriff’s Office and he’s the one who’s best fit to do best job out of both candidates,” Merkouris added.

Harig did not wish to comment.

The union is slated to certify the results on Monday.