-By Warner Todd Huston
In shockingly quick order last month, Yorkville resident Robert Lea raised 5,000 signatures in only two weeks to challenge incumbent Kendall County Sheriff Richard Randall in the November general elections.
Randall did not dispute the petition, so it appears that Lea will be on the ballot in November.
Randall had no opposition in the GOP primary earlier this year but has faced increasing opposition among citizens of the county over a sexual harassment lawsuit between Deputy Sheriff Terry Tichava and his onetime assistant Lisa Easi which was recent settled for an undisclosed sum.
Sheriff Randall has come under increasing pressure for his decision to stand by Deputy Sheriff Tichava instead of firing him and/or disciplining him. This opposition obviously aided Lea in his whirlwind gathering of signatures.
In 2009 Lea moved to Kendall County to live with his in-laws, long-time residents of the area.
Most recently, Lea spent two years as an officer with the Vanderbilt University Police Department in Nashville, Tenn. He began his police career in 1993 with the Gallatin, Tenn., police. He was promoted to sergeant in 1997 and to staff services commander in 1998.
He has an associate’s degree in pre-law from Trinity Valley Community College in Texas and bachelor’s degree in social science and history from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn. He currently is pursuing a master’s degree at Aurora University.
This is quite unusual, but it all shows that there is some unhappiness among the voters with Kendall County Sheriff Randall.
The Lea campaign wanted me to correct the number of petition sigs that they got. It wasn’t quite 5,000. The information I was sent via email was incorrect on this fact. Still, it was pretty amazing that they raised the needed number of 3,750 so quickly.
Also, I was a bit unclear above. Lea is running as an independent, not a Republican. I left the impression that he’ll be on the ballot as a Republican. I knew that he was running as an independent, too. Sorry for not being clear there.
In any case, good luck to the Lea campaign. It’s good to see some variety at the polls for a change.
(H/T to Stephen Youhanaie)