La Crosse Co. Sheriff candidates answer public’s questions at forum

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – The two candidates for La Crosse County Sheriff answered questions from the public at a forum Wednesday night.

Each candidate got 30 minutes to introduce themselves and respond to questions.

News 8 Now spoke with candidates before the forum.

Fritz Leinfelder is running as a Republican on the ballot.

He says he has 30 years of experience working in law enforcement in La Crosse: as a jailer, a patrol officer, and as a sheriff’s deputy.

Leinfelder said if he’s elected, he wants to focus on mental health and addiction solutions.

“I think my strengths are to bring the community together, to be able to talk about these things, to help further conversations in what we need to do to address these kinds of issues that we’re seeing,” said Leinfelder.

Leinfelder’s Democratic opponent John Siegel has 29 years of experience in law enforcement, 20 of them as a sheriff’s deputy.

Siegel says he believes La Crosse County’s law enforcement agencies are good and wants to continue recent improvements by listening to what the community wants to see.

“Conversations are important, collaboration and really sitting down with people who may feel like they’ve been underserved by law enforcement … or hearing from people, their experiences with law enforcement,” said Siegel. “And then evaluating that and figuring out how we continue to move forward.”

If you missed the forum tonight and want to hear from both candidates, La Crosse County has a video of the full event on its Facebook page.