Candidate running write-in campaign for sheriff
Editor's note: This story is part of a series on Pierce County Sheriff candidates. Find the rest of the story here.
- Age: 44
- Address: 221 Main St., Plum City, WI 54761
- Website: None
- Twitter: None
- Facebook: None
- Education: One year study of the healing arts (massage therapy, life counseling, aromatherapy); studies in horticulture and music at UWRF, current student of mathematics and science at UWRF
- Family: Unmarried with no children.
- Current occupation: Forester; Balance Technician at UWRF Chemistry Department
- Civic involvement: I have volunteered at Third World orphanages, soup kitchens, food shelves, have organized and delivered donations of food and clothing to Native American reservations in the winter, among many other things. Folks who know me know if there is some good project to accomplish I am always happy to lend a hand. I find volunteerism one of the best ways to know and create community and encourage everyone to make it a part of their lives.
A candidate for sheriff is attempting the same election strategy he used eight years ago — a roughly one-month write-in campaign.
Oake Gregory, a 44-year-old Plum City resident lacking formal law enforcement experience, is aiming to unseat incumbent Sheriff Nancy Hove in the Nov. 6 election. Gregory is campaigning on lowering crime through preventative measures, increasing officer accountability and tackling organized crime in the county.
In a series of questions through email, Gregory shared with the Herald his plans if he were to win and his thoughts on the state of Pierce County law enforcement.
"My goal as sheriff would be to dramatically reduce the level of crime in the county," Gregory said.
Gregory wrote that he wants the sheriff's office to be more responsive to Pierce County residents. He would aim to be available to residents facing problems in hopes of reducing the chance of a crime occuring, while also increasing youth outreach, restorative justice efforts and early intervention programs, he wrote.
Internal officer issues and organized crime are the two main police issues in the county, Gregory wrote. He pointed to a Pierce County deputy being arrested on suspicion of second-degree child sexual assault recently, and a dog- and cock-fighting ring in the county as examples.
To combat internal issues, he would mandate weekly counseling sessions for officers. He would direct increased sheriff's office resources towards organized crime in the county to reduce it, he said.
Gregory's professional background includes work in what he described as administration and "organizational dynamics." He said in the email that he has worked for numerous non-profit organizations and was president of an environmental sustainability organization, Northland Sustainable Solutions.
The lifelong Pierce resident and current University of Wisconsin-River Falls student said he first ran as a write-in candidate in 2010. Gregory wrote that a friend convinced him to run after the filing deadline and he elected to run as a write-in.
Today, he said he likes the "poetry" of it, writing that he believes it is more "intimate" and "intentional" to have people write in his name, rather than fill a box.
"Almost every time I go into a [restaurant] in the county some older gentleman will holler, 'better take care, here comes the Sheriff,'" Gregory wrote. "I figure if the old men of the county see something good in me it is an indication that others do as well."