MOUNT CARMEL — Jim McVaigh, Mount Carmel, confirmed he has collected his petition signature packet to seek the GOP nomination for Wabash County Sheriff.

McVaigh said he has 12 years experience in law enforcement, including specialty training through the Police Training Institute, and has worked for the Albion City Police Department and the Edwards County Sheriff's Department as a deputy and chief deputy. Certifications include meth lab clean up, and he has served on a court drug center task force, and as a fire arms instructor for Albion, teaching hand to hand officer protection.

He moved from Edwards County back to Wabash County in 2005 and opened a welding business. "I just decided I missed law enforcement and want to get back in it," said McVaigh. If elected, McVaigh said he would work on drug interdiction. "We need to start working on the drug issue in the county and we need to start with addressing drug problems within the schools. I have a background in drug enforcement and that will be something I will want to work on if I become sheriff," said McVaigh.

Incumbent Sheriff Derek Morgan also collected his petition signature packet in his bid for the Republican nomination for re-election. Morgan, who is in his first term as sheriff, became a deputy with the Wabash County Sheriff's Department after graduating in 2003 with a degree in administration of justice. Morgan said some of his accomplishments during his first term include updating areas of the courthouse and jail while staying within the confines of the budget, expanding the capacity of the jail and purchasing stop sticks for the department. The department has also received grants for the K-9 and K-9 vehicle, AADs for the courthouse and jail and grants for training.

Morgan said he also wants to focus on the drug epidemic in Wabash County. "We have a strong methamphetamine problem in the county right now we to work on stopping and heroin is starting to come in we need to get ahead of it. We want to continue to make Wabash County a safe place to live and work," said Morgan.

Also, picking up petition signature packets recently were incumbent Wabash County Treasurer Beverly McBride and incumbent Wabash County Clerk Janet Will.

The Wabash County Clerk's Office will accept election filings beginning Nov. 27 through Dec. 4. Signature petition packets can be picked up any time now through the filing period. The primary election is March 20, 2018.

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