Former Kansas Highway Patrol Lt. Alvin Ackerman, of Hays, has filed to run for the office of Ellis County sheriff.

Ackerman retired in 2014 from the Kansas Highway Patrol and has been working as a traffic safety contractor for the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Ackerman decided to run after Ellis County Sheriff Ed Harbin made it known he’s retiring at the end of his current term in January 2021.

“I have a great deal of respect for Ed Harbin,” Ackerman said. “I was not going to run against him.”

A Hoxie native who grew up on a farm, Ackerman worked for the highway patrol for almost 26 years, starting out in the Kansas City metro area, then Topeka, and finally Hays in 2005.

If elected, he said, an important mission within the sheriff’s office is keeping deputies accessible, visible and professional and “to vigorously investigate, pursue and apprehend criminals. That’s what people expect, to catch the bad guys and continue to fight the drug problems.”

As a KDOT contract employee, Ackerman is a law enforcement liaison in the traffic safety section. He said he advises on traffic safety to law enforcement agencies across the state on such programs as Click It or Ticket and other traffic safety initiatives.

Ackerman is the second person to file for the sheriff's race.

He will face Ellis County Undersheriff Scott Braun, who also filed as a Republican in October. The primary is Aug. 4, 2020.

The filing deadline is noon June 1, 2020, with the Ellis County clerk for spots on the ballot in the Nov. 3, 2020, general election.

Braun, who has more than 20 years in law enforcement, became Ellis County Undersheriff in March 2018. He joined the force in 1997.

Braun, a Victoria native, has been a detective, field operations coordinator and administrative coordinator for the county drug enforcement unit, and coordinator of the county’s K9 program and the department’s first canine handler.