BANNOCK COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Long-standing Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielson announced on Tuesday he won't be seeking reelection in 2021.
Nielson is one of the longest-serving sheriffs in Idaho, he said. He was sworn in for the first time in 1996 but started working in the Bannock County jail in 1978.
After 24 years in office, he's decided 2020 will be his last. Rather than retiring early, he wants to wait out his term so as not to appoint the next sheriff. Nielsen said he'd prefer the county elect their new head of law enforcement.
However, Nielsen is publicly endorsing Tony Manu for the job. Manu is currently head of detectives for Bannock County. Manu plans to announce his candidacy in the coming weeks.
“I love him like a brother. I’ve seen what he can do. It’s my time to step aside,” Nielsen said.
Whoever takes over for him will have to face challenges, but not from many neighbors, Nielsen said.
“We live in a wonderful community, but we also have the same issues that a big city has. We’re fortunate because we work together," Nielsen said. "We can handle what comes our way and we still feel the overwhelming support of the people."
Looking ahead, Nielsen hopes the county will lay out real plans for a new jail before his term is up. This has been a goal of his for years.
Nielsen has considered running for other offices, but doesn't have any specific plans. If he does run, it'll be on his own terms, he said.
“If I decide to go and run, it would probably be for local office. If I do that, I want to be an independent so I don’t owe allegiance to any philosophy,” Nielsen said.