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Meet The Candidates

By Staff | May 30, 2012


Lynn J. Schultes

Sheriff candidate – Democrat

I grew up in Carroll County, Iowa, where I met my wife, Beth. We married in 1988 and moved to Emmetsburg in 1990.

Beth is an Office Manager at Ruthven Coop Oil Company and has held that position for 18 years.

Beth and I have five children. Justin graduated from Hawkeye Community College in December of 2011, with a degree in Police Science. He was hired by the City of Spencer and serves as a Patrolman with the Police Department. Justin recently graduated from the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and lives near Ruthven. Cory just received an Associate of Arts Degree in Business from Iowa Lakes Community College. He will continue his education at the University of Northern Iowa this fall. Amy will be a senior at Emmetsburg High School this fall and currently works at Handeland Chiropractic in Emmetsburg. Wes will be a freshman this fall at Emmetsburg High School. Thomas will be an 8th grader this fall at the Emmetsburg Catholic School. Wes and Thomas are involved with anything associated with sports.


When not working at the Sheriff’s Office, I enjoy my part-time job giving test drives for the Palo Alto County Treasurer’s Office. I was trained for this position by the Iowa Department of Transportation in 2002.

I enjoy volunteering at the Emmetsburg Catholic School and the Emmetsburg Public School. I also volunteer at Holy Family Parish and recently completed a four-year term on the Parish Council. I served as the secretary for three year and President for one year. I served a two-year term as co-chair of the Emmetsburg Athletic Booster club. I have donated of my time, talents, and treasures in many places in the past and continue doing so.

1) I graduated, with honors, from Iowa Lakes Community College in 1988 with an Associate of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.

I started my law enforcement career as an Emmetsburg Reserve Police Officer while attending college. I returned to Emmetsburg as a full time Police Officer in 1990. I began my duties with the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office in 1994 as a Deputy Sheriff. I have held various positions while at the Sheriff’s Office including Reserve Supervisor, Jail Administrator and currently serve as Lieutenant.

What I am most proud of and what I feel is even more important than my education and work experience, is the fact that during my 22 years of law enforcement experience, and with my volunteering endeavors, I have gained the trust and respect of many. I have been approached by those I have come in contact with over the years thanking me for taking the time to address their concerns and appreciating the fact that I treated them with dignity and kindness. As your Palo Alto County Sheriff, I will lead by example as I have done for years and I will expect ALL employees to follow my example.


2) Methamphetamine continues to be a concern nearly everywhere. Meth is a highly addictive drug, and once hooked, an addicted needs to continue using it, and will go to extra ordinary means to acquire it.

The Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office will continue to monitor websites that inform law enforcement the names of individuals purchasing some key ingredients for the manufacturing of meth. We will continue to interact with other law enforcement agencies and information share on drug users and manufacturers. We will work with confidential informants and the public in acquiring leads on persons and location of particular interest. We will also increase patrol of anhydrous ammonia storage area and address any concerns that anhydrous retailers have to reduce access to another ingredient of meth.

Traffic stops can be increased with particular awareness of drug indicators and interdiction.

Many of the actions above will allow us to seek out all drugs, including alcohol violations.

I will continue to work with the DEA and the National Take Back Program that I implemented this year, with the intent to properly dispose of controlled prescription drugs. This will reduce the abuse of prescription drugs that is on the rise.

3) My entire campaign I have been talking about Accountability and Accessibility.

Accountability- I will continue to hold myself and all employees accountable for putting in an expected days work. I will not grant myself or others a special exemption from doing what is right and expected. I will lead by example and be a working Sheriff. I will respond to calls, assist in search warrants and execute arrest warrants.

Accessibility-I will stop at random households each year, giving 240 families the opportunity to discuss whatever concerns they have in the privacy of their home.

I will send out letters each month to random citizens that had contact with my office. This will be an evaluation process I will use to keep in touch with the performance of my staff.

I will encourage all employees to volunteer their time outside of work.

The office will run smoother and more work will be completed. The public will have more contact with my employees and with that contact, will come trust. As trust is built, the Sheriff’s office will become more effective as folks will have faith in us, will call us with concerns and will share more information with us.

Todd D. Suhr

Sheriff candidate – Democrat

I am Todd Suhr and I am currently Chief Deputy for the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office. My wife Kay and I live on a acreage near Lost Island Lake and we will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary in June. We have two children, Travis, 26 who is a student at Iowa State University and Nicole, 23, who graduated from Iowa State University. Kay and I both grew up on the farm, Kay lived by Milford, Iowa and I grew up on my family farm just north of Spirit Lake, Iowa. I graduated from Sioux Valley, Minnesota high school and attended Jackson Vocational College. I began my career in law enforcement as a volunteer police reserve in Sac City, Iowa. I was hired as Chief of Police in Lytton, Iowa in 1984 and then our family moved to Paullina, Iowa and I served on the Paullina Police Department. In 1987 I was hired as Chief of Police in Marcus, Iowa and served in that position until coming to Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office in 1992. During my time as Chief of Police in Marcus I also worked as a part time Deputy Sheriff for Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. I worked criminal and drug investigations for both the City of Marcus and Cherokee County. I was elected to the Ruthven-Ayrshire school board and served 9 years. I have volunteered for the foster care review board, Palo Alto County Public Health advisory board and have volunteered with 4-H club events over the years and have run the score boards at football and basketball games for many years.

1) I have over 28 years of law enforcement experience. 25 of those years have been involved with Sheriff’s Office operations including jail management, civil processing, patrol, public relations and investigations. I have over 15 years of supervisory and administrative experience. I have held leadership positions in the Iowa law Enforcement Intelligence Network which were elected positions by peers in law enforcement. I am an original team member and co-team leader for the Multi agency Response Team “M.A.R.T.”. I am also on the Iowa Lakes Community College Criminal Justice Advisory board.

I have held positions of Deputy Sheriff, Sergeant, Lieutenant and Chief Deputy at the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office. As Chief Deputy, I am second in command of the Sheriff’s Office and supervise all areas of the office. I have implemented team meetings for the jail, communications, deputies and supervisors. I have worked closely with Sheriff Dennis Goeders since he took office in the administration of the Sheriff’s Office. I have many years of experience in major case investigations and have worked with local, state and federal agencies to make Palo Alto County the safest place possible.

2) We will continue with the great success that has impacted illegal drug activity the last 7 years under Sheriff Goeders. I have been involved with drug and criminal investigations most of my career. One of the challenges in small agencies is to have the staff to cover the daily calls for service while finding time to work investigations. For years, we have worked together to maintain the coverage required and incorporate investigations. We have been able to maintain the local drug task force on forfeitures of illegal drug money. Many of these funds come from cooperation with local, state and federal agencies. The great team work we have seen over the years is a key to the success we have had. With team work we have been able to prosecute many federal and state cases over the years. I have been involved with the Iowa Law Enforcement Intelligence Network for 24 years and I believe in their motto “Excellence through cooperation” and will continue to partner with any agency that needs our assistance. I will bring my many years of experience and together with a great staff we can continue to learn from each other and work together to bring the fight to illegal drug activity.

I believe in public education also. We will continue to give public relations programs in the schools and public groups. I have had the privilege to present methamphetamine and other programs to schools and community groups. We have shared information of scams, criminal trends and county statistics to many groups, city councils and county township trustees. The Sheriff’s Office has had and will continue to have an open policy for information sharing and community relations.

3) The priorities will remain mostly the same as they have been for the past 7 years. I would like to continue to build on the success we have had and transition as smoothly as possible. The Sheriff’s Office will work together with local, state and federal agencies on crimes that impact the lives of the people of Palo Alto County. The Office has several areas to oversee, patrol, jail, communications and office management with civil processing and policy. We will continue to work as a team in all areas to provide the best service to the county in the most cost effective way, and deliver those services with compassion and common sense. We will continue to be open and available to the public for any assistance that is needed.

A challenge we face is maintaining and operating a jail facility that is over 100 years old. We will work to maintain the jail and operate it in a safe and cost effective manner.

To be a successful Public Safety agency there has to be a joint effort between the people who serve and the public. I look forward to working together with the good people of Palo Alto County to continue to provide the safest county possible to live and grow!

Darrin E. Adams

Sheriff candidate – Republican

I am Darrin Adams and I am seeking election to be your Palo Alto County Sheriff. I have been an Emmetsburg Police Officer for nearly 17 years. I am a Firearms Instructor, member of Multi Agency Response Team (MART) and member of the Firearms Training Advisory Group for the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. Since moving to Emmetsburg in 1996 I recognized right away my determination to make Palo Alto County not only a place to live and work but also a place to raise a family. Investing in a home goes beyond paint, nails, and landscaping. As citizens we need to invest in our community by getting involved.

I have been appointed by our Supervisors to serve on the Palo Alto County Conservation Board and am currently the President of the Palo Alto County Pheasants Forever Chapter. I have also been a volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor and have worked to provide the required Hunter Safety course to several hundred youth and adults. Knowing the importance of volunteers and the need for continued investment in our communities I have a hard time saying “no” to a good cause. I want Palo Alto County to be the place our children want to return to after their college years to work and raise their own families.

1) What qualifies me to be your Sheriff can be answered with one word, “UNDERSTANDING.” As Sheriff, I must recognize and understand the needs of our citizens and be able to provide the resources and voice to reassure their problems will be addressed. It is very important to me that law enforcement officers remember that we live amongst the people we serve.

I understand and recognize that the learning process didn’t end when I received my BS in Law Enforcement from Mankato State or when I completed my basic training at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. Issues and trends in our society are forever changing and the responsible thing to do is to keep up with those changes. I continue to attend trainings and keep my certifications current. I understand that knowledge is power and that we can be a more powerful community if we all share our knowledge.

2) It is sad to say that there is an ongoing supply of illegal drugs tempting our citizens into making unhealthy choices. I look at drug trends from a business perspective of “supply and demand.” It is my belief that if we decrease the demand we can decrease the supply. To decrease the demand we must inform our citizens on the warnings signs, the dangers and the harm that illegal drugs can have on them and their neighbors. I have been speaking in the schools for several years to our youth about these dangers. It is crucial that they know the importance of standing up to peer pressures and to just say no.

I have been active in MART, the Law Enforcement Intelligence Network and have worked with and will continue to work alongside our neighboring law enforcement agencies on any leads and tips in the chase to remove the supply from our communities.

3) As Sheriff it is my goal to ensure the citizens of Palo Alto County are provided with the most professional, fair and honest services possible. In the event that you need help, I want to make sure that you get the help you need. The Sheriff’s Office is a public agency that should work for the people, not against them. The door to my office will be opened to all the citizens so your voices can be heard.

I will work to create a positive relationship with our Dispatchers, Firefighters, First Responders, EMTs, Emergency Management, State, County and Local Officials.

I understand the need to be conservative in spending. Traditional law enforcement services are not privately funded. These services are funded by your tax dollars. As tax payers you deserve the best services possible for your tax dollars under a conservative budget.

I hope over the last several years of serving as a Police Officer and a neighbor I have earned your respect. As a voter you make a choice in the upcoming Primary Election and later in the General Election. I hope when you hold your ballot in your hand you will trust and respect what I can bring to the Sheriff’s Office.