In yet another failure of our predictive powers, we were wrong about John Rogers’ endorsement intentions in the sheriff’s race. Rogers has officially endorsed Chad Leger for sheriff, praising the Scott police chief for his administrative experience. For those of you counting our mistakes, we put our money down that Rogers would either endorse Mark Garber or stay out of the endorsement business all together.
Our reasoning was primarily based in our best interpolation of Rogers’ law enforcement ideology and his repeated support for outgoing sheriff Mike Neustrom’s diversion policies. Rogers also staked out a moderate viewpoint on the contentious “sanctuary city” malarkey in a lengthy statement on his campaign’s Facebook account, putting him at, at least, tonal odds with Leger’s heavy-handed criticism of LPSO’s policy concerning Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests.
Given that Leger had stopped short of full-bore Neustrom ideation in the countless public forums held before the primary, and, following Neustrom’s endorsement of Garber, had barraged his potential predecessor with attacks, we anticipated that Rogers would lean at least away from a candidate staking his election on a need for change.
In a follow-up conversation, Rogers told us that he believes that Leger values Neustrom’s diversion policies and shares much of the same vision as he does for the department’s future. Ultimately, Rogers said, it was a gut decision — one made with a lot of prayer and a lot of hope.
“I had to go with my heart on it,” he said. “It was not an easy decision. When push came to shove, my ideologies and what I felt mattered, also mattered to Chad. I think he understands the importance of the [diversion and alternative sentencing] programs. I know that’s been in question. I know he knows how I feel about victims. I’m a victim advocate. And I know he works well as administrator, which he’s done in Scott for 12 years.”
Rogers took home 4 percent of the primary vote. Even if his full haul shows up for Leger on Nov. 21, it likely won’t be the deciding factor in the election. Of course, this puts a lot more pressure on Garber’s campaign to manufacture votes out of his recent endorsement from defeated candidate Rick Chargois, who took home 11 percent on Oct. 24.
Moving forward, Rogers says he hopes to work with whomever takes over the top badge. Moving forward on our end, we can’t say anything about this sheriff’s race will go as predicted. The one thing we know for sure is that a new sheriff will be elected on Nov. 21.