MENOMINEE — With the August primary election around the corner, the EagleHerald reached out to both Republican candidates for Menominee County Sheriff: Joe Grinsteiner and Pat Armbrust.
Armbrust declined to be interviewed by the EagleHerald.
Grinsteiner said, if elected, he would bring a fiscally responsible, rural-Menominee County perspective to the position.
“Rural county needs are overflowing and we need a rural sheriff who lives outside the city limits,” he said. Ensuring law enforcement coverage in the rural parts of the county is important to him, as a life-long resident himself, he said.
“The city is covered by both the city police and sometimes the state police, we really need the coverage out in the rural parts of the county,” Grinsteiner explained.
He said he admires current Menominee County Sheriff Kenny Marks for ensuring the rural Menominee County area had sufficient law enforcement coverage.
“Honestly, I think Kenny Marks is one of the best sheriffs we’ve ever had,” Grinsteiner said. Marks, who will not be seeking re-election for another term, is also from the rural Menominee County area. Grinsteiner said he was concerned that Marks’ replacement would be someone who did not focus as much attention on rural Menominee County.
Grinsteiner said several members of his family are or have been members of law enforcement and he is a volunteer with the Mellen Township Fire Department and EMS 114. He said he’s been volunteering for 28 years and attributes the extra time he has to volunteer on these agencies because he’s been self-employed since he was 14. He has owned businesses across the Midwest.
“I know how to run a business, and this allowed me to volunteer because I can make my own hours,” he said.
Focusing on ways the sheriff’s department can use its budget efficiently and save the county money is something Grinsteiner said he would like to do, if elected sheriff. He said his experience as a business owner would allow him the knowledge and background to do this.
Grinsteiner said he would also like to focus on drug remediation and rehabilitation and providing help with people who have mental health needs.
Menominee County’s lack of a mental health facility is one concern that Grinsteiner said he would like to address as sheriff.
“There’s no mental health facility south of Marquette,” he said. “I don’t care if it’s drugs or mental health, if someone asks for help, we need to be able to help them because they may change their mind a day later.”
He said he would like to develop a facility for people in crisis that can provide counselors and mental health professionals.
Grinsteiner said he would also keep an external factors that may bring criminal activity to Menominee County, such as drug and sex trafficking.
“We have good people in this county that just want to live free and work hard and all they ask is a safe environment to raise and enjoy their life and family,” he said.
Grinsteiner will be on the Aug. 4 primary ballot against Armbrust, whoever receives the most votes will be on the November general election ballot against Democratic candidate Mike Holmes.