Johnson County Sheriff decides not to run for re-election


Rep. Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City, introduces Iowa Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell alongside Johnson Country sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek at Big Grove Brewery and Taproom on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Brooklyn Draisey, News Editor

Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek has announced through a Facebook post that he will not seek re-election. His term will end in December 2020.

Pulkrabek is currently in his fourth term as Sheriff and will have served 16 years by the time it ends. Before being elected as sheriff, he served almost 20 years as Deputy Sheriff.

“The two Sheriff’s prior to me Gary Hughes, and Robert Carpenter both served 16 years as well,” Pulkrabek said in his post. “I have come to the conclusion that that is a pretty fair number of years to leave your fingerprints on the office rather than over staying your welcome.”

Even as a child Pulkrabek wanted to be a police officer, he said, but he never imagined being in a leader of a large agency like the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department. He said he owes all his success to his coworkers.

“I thank each and every one of them for their past and present service,” he said.

In an interview with the Daily Iowan, Pulkrabek said one of his greatest achievements was being able to get out and help the community. This was also the main reason he wanted to become a police officer.

In terms of retirement plans, Pulkrabek said there isn’t anything set in stone yet, but he has been advised to take a year off. If he does, he said would cycle and ride his motorcycle more, and work on his golf swing.

Pulkrabek said he wanted to make this announcement early enough for interested parties to get involved and speak to residents.

“I think it’s important I don’t wait till the last minute, and if there’s someone out there who wants to campaign to earn the public’s trust they can start campaigning now,” he said.

He also said residents should get to know Detective Sergeant Brad Kunkel. Kunkel has not announced a campaign at this time.

“I believe he is an outstanding person to follow in my shoes and move the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office forward in a positive way,” he said in his post.

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