Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf, running for re-election against challenger Robert Jordan, said Tuesday any debate with his opponent is now, “off the table.” Leaf said that he would not let his family become involved in the political process after an incident at a recent “Meet and Greet,” giving the public a chance to talk to the candidates on the Aug. 2 primary ballot.
The sheriff’s race is the most contentious on the ballot, with Leaf supporters saying in public forums that Leaf is taking the high road and Jordan isn’t playing fair in the campaign. People supporting Jordan have written letters to the editor and questioned Leaf’s administration of the sheriff’s office. Leaf has so far not responded to remarks from Jordan supporters.
Leaf made it clear that Jordan did not say anything about his family, but said a woman who is a Jordan supporter did. He did not identify her.
He said resents his family being brought up in a political campaign when the woman publicly brought up a private medical issue of a member of his family at the Meet and Greet.
“That’s low,” Leaf said. “I’ve been in office for 12 years and I’ve never had anything that dirty in all my years as sheriff. She was escorted away by the Hastings police chief when she got loud and personal about my family.”
“I had been considering a debate, I’ve had two offers, one from WBCH and another one, but that’s off the table. I will not expose my family to that. That’s it. I’m done. I’ll see you at the finish line,” he said.
“We are willing to debate,” Jordan spokesman Jack Miner said. “Whether he wants to or not, is up to him.” Miner said the woman in question is not on the list of campaign volunteers working to elect Jordan. “She has never been a volunteer in our campaign,” he said.