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Candidates to debate for St. Joseph County Sheriff

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- 

Three sheriff candidates running in May's Democratic Party primary will take to the podium Tuesday to discuss topics and questions from the public. 

The debate, hosted by Indiana University South Bend Political Science Club, IU South Bend American Democracy Project and the League of Women Voters will focus on the three candidates' priorities, experience and leadership style. 

Dr. Elizabeth Bennion, professor of political science at IU South Bend, will moderate the event. 

She says she plans to tackle issues important to voters including recruitment and retention of the most skilled officers, school safety and the opioid crisis. 

The three candidates all have years of experience in law enforcement. 

Commander Tim Corbett of the county's metro homicide unit has more than 40 years of experience. Lt. Bill Redman oversees the afternoon patrol division and has more than 20 years experience. Bill Thompson has more than 30 years experience in law enforcement and currently serves as the department's assistant chief. 

Dr. Bennion says it's important to listen to the candidates closely because of the experience each one brings to the table, and because they are all running on the same party label. 

"That means that people will need to listen very closely to try to figure out who will best serve in this position in the future," said Dr. Bennion. "We don't always have so much competition for this job, but with the current sheriff no longer running for reelection, this opens the seat up and so I think it will be really interesting to see what the candidates say in terms of where they're similar and where they're different."

The debate will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Wiekamp Hall on IU South Bend's campus. Voters with questions are encouraged to arrive early. 

Parking is available in the parking garage next to Wiekamp Hall.

There will be a reception after the event for voters to ask questions to each candidate personally. 


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