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Former Police Chief Hurley drops out of Sheriff's Race

NOW: Former Police Chief Hurley drops out of Sheriff’s Race

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Former South Bend Police Chief Chuck Hurley has dropped out of the St. Joseph County Sheriff's race.

The petition to put him on the November ballot exceeded the required number of signatures by several citizens but Hurley decided to withdraw.

His statement: 

Dear supporters,

While I am forever grateful for your overwhelming show of support, I no longer wish to be a candidate for St. Joseph County Sheriff because I am not willing to subject myself to a smear campaign by the South Bend Tribune.

The South Bend Tribune inserted itself into an otherwise democratic and constitutional process as a self-appointed arbiter of who should be allowed to run and who should not. In their opinion, it is not your constitutional right, nor is it mine to run for elected office -- unless they say it is.

Though none of us can vote for our elected officials until November, according to the Tribune, ‘the voters have already spoken.’ This apparently means that democracy is over for now. I suppose we can revisit it in a few years if it’s okay with the South Bend Tribune.

In spite of what the Tribune claimed in the newspaper on June 21, my candidacy was based solely on the qualifications I would bring in leading a successful County Police Department. They also made false claims about how I decided to run. The decision was between me and my wife. No one else. So, it might have been good for them to ask someone.

As a candidate, I expected to run against other candidates. I did not expect to run against a newspaper that reaches hundreds of readers a day with imagined facts and conspiracy theories to fit their agenda.

Frankly, I don’t have the megaphone that they do. So, it is clear that it will be impossible for me to compete fairly.

I am greatly appreciative of all of you who have expressed your support for me. However, I have lost my desire to be a candidate for St. Joseph County Sheriff.

This is the only statement that I will make regarding this issue. I will have no further comments.

Thank you sincerely,

Chuck Hurley

The South Bend Tribune's Alan Achkar responded to Hurley's statement around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday:

The South Bend Tribune's role in the sheriff's race has once again been mischaracterized. The Tribune is being used as a convenient scapegoat. We did not insert ourselves into the democratic process, nor did we have any intention to do so. There were no factual errors in our editorial or our news stories. We categorically, vehemently and wholeheartedly deny that our work represents a 'smear campaign.' In fact, we are strong supporters of democracy, transparency and accountability. Our work in this case has been driven only by the motive to support those critical ideals.

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