Redman speaks out for first time since Sheriff's race drama
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Moving forward. That's the message from Bill Redman after a whirlwind journey so far in the St. Joseph County Sheriff's race.
Redman spoke publicly for the first time Monday, since he won the recount of the Democratic primary election. He responded to criticism from current Sheriff Mike Grzegorek.
"It's been a roller coaster of emotions. There's been a lot going on," Redman says.
It's been seven weeks of controversy, recounting ballots, and lots of politics.
But for the St. Joseph County Democratic Party, it all ends now.
"This is our final statement. There's nothing more to discuss here," says Chairman, Jason Critchlow. "Whatever happens in the future, Bill Redman is the Democratic Party's candidate."
Critchlow and Redman addressed a room full of supports in South Bend, saying enough is enough.
Redman directly countered the comments made by Sheriff Grzegorek last week.
Comments, such as, "Bill Redman's attitude has rubbed off on several of the officers under his command, and this has caused problems in the effective functioning of the department."
But Redman says he'll rise above it.
"I was actually working that night when all of that was mentioned by the Sheriff. It was the first I heard of any of those issues. I have nothing in my personnel file, nothing pending against me, so I was kind of shocked," he explains. "I told everyone involved in my campaign, that no matter what is said, positive or negative, we were always going to stay positive."
It's now mostly a party united, Critchlow emphasizes.
There are just two exceptions to the almost unanimous support.
"Two Democratic elected officials who did not want to sign [the affirmation," he says. "I did not reach out to Sheriff Grzgorek. I feel like he made his feelings pretty clear on the issue. And then we had a Mishawaka councilman who did not feel comfortable doing it."
So for now, it's all about picking up steam and support from Tim Corbett's former supporters.
Redman is confident he can do it.
"It's absolutely humbling to have all of that support. It means so much," he says. "And for those who may not have supported me in the spring, we're going to gain that support as we move forward."
But what about the voters?
Some voters say, this whole situation has been nerve-racking and time-consuming.
And that may become more clear in November.
"I think because of all the drama associated with it, a lot of people won't go and vote because they're fed up of hearing about it," says Virginia Baker, a Granger resident.
She says she doesn't really have a political preference right now, but she doesn't like how candidates have been acting.
"This craziness isn't necessary if you're willing to be an adult about the situation," explains Baker. "It's almost like acting like kids. I didn't get the toy, so I'm going to stomp my feet and get my way."
But others believe the trouble is worth it, to get the Sheriff the county needs.
A former St. Joseph County Law enforcement official messaged ABC57 News saying, "Redman isn't qualified to do the job."
He then said he personally tried to get votes for Chuck Hurley, and that the drama surrounded Hurley's potential run was ridiculous.
"They conveniently forget the petition process is on the books for a reason," the former officer writes. "It's a legitimate part of the democratic process."