County’s sheriff race gets competitive early

Linn County Sheriff Jim Yon announced Tuesday, Sept. 21, that he will not seek re-election in the 2022 election, a day after one of his deputies, Jon Raymond, announced he was running for the office in May. 

Yon, 50, a longtime Sweet Home resident, was appointed sheriff in June 2018 by the Board of Commissioners after the retirement of Sheriff Bruce Riley and he was elected to a four-year term of office in November 2018.

A South Albany High School graduate, Yon has a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement from Western Oregon University.

He began his LCSO career as a resident deputy in Harrisburg and worked in numerous areas including traffic, sex crimes, narcotics and the support division before being promoted to undersheriff in 2014. 

Yon released the following letter to Linn County citizens, explaining his decision:

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the support you have given to me as your Sheriff, and more importantly, the support you continue to give the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.  

“Last week, I celebrated my 28-year work anniversary with the Sheriff’s Office. I have always loved serving in the county I was raised in, and I have had an amazing career.  I honestly feel like I’m the luckiest man alive because I have been able to do a job that I love, in a place that I love.  

“It has been my great honor and privilege to be your Sheriff, and I have worked every day to do the very best for the citizens of Linn County and the employees at the Sheriff’s Office.  

“With careful consideration and much discussion with my family, I have come to the decision not to seek re-election this next year. I have been thinking about this for several months, knowing the filing period for the next election was coming up.  This has been an extremely difficult choice for me to make. The Sheriff’s Office is my second home and I have built many wonderful relationships over the years with citizens and co-workers alike.  

“I wouldn’t have made this decision if my command staff wasn’t prepared.”

Yon announced earlier this month that he had appointed Michelle Duncan, a 24-year department veteran, as Undersheriff.

“I selected Michelle Duncan to be Undersheriff because she is the most qualified to lead this office. She will be a fantastic leader and a great example for others,” he said last week. “Office continuity is essential. Maintaining the services, we provide to you is of the utmost importance.   

“Michelle’s experience and knowledge in what it takes to operate the Sheriff’s Office will make her transition to Sheriff seamless; and you, the citizens of Linn County, will be in great hands.”

Duncan will face an election challenge from LCSO deputy Jon Raymond, a Lebanon resident, for the Sheriff’s position. 

Raymond, a 22-year Sheriff’s Office veteran, filed paperwork for the position and announced that if he were elected Sheriff, he would select Deputy Travis Boshart to serve as his Undersheriff.

Raymond, currently a Mountain Deputy, joined the Linn County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue at 14 as a volunteer. After high school, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard, serving four years, and receiving an honorable discharge as a petty officer third class. 

Boshart currently serves as Team Leader of the Linn County Regional SWAT Critical Negotiations Team. Both Raymond and Boshart have served in the Linn County Jail.

I’m excited about the opportunity to continue to serve Linn County in this capacity,” Raymond said in a statement. “I’ve had several people ask me to run for Sheriff over the years, but recently those conversations have led me to decide to take a serious look at the opportunity. 

“Over the last two months of exploring this opportunity, it has become clear that my leadership would be an asset to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office. I am making it official; the voters will get to decide their next Sheriff.” 

The Raymond for Sheriff political action committee has raised over $15,000, Raymond said in announcing his candidacy. 

“Over the last two months of exploring the option of running, I have been overwhelmed at the support I have received so far,” he said. 

Raymond has lived in Lebanon since 1995 with his wife of 25 years. They have three daughters. 

Boshart lives on a farm in Tangent with his wife of 24 years. They have three children.

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