Democratic candidate for Hamilton County sheriff brings international experience to local race


Jason Straw figures he has a unique skill set that would serve him well as sheriff of Hamilton County, a position he’s hoping to earn through the Nov. 6 election.

Jason Straw speaks on why he is running for Hamilton County Sheriff in the general election during a Hamilton County Democratic Party caucus June 27. (Photo by Anna Skinner)

Straw, 45, is a retired veteran, having served in the U.S. Army as a medic and critical care trauma nurse in the Air Force. His military career took him to Afghanistan twice, but now he’s ready to serve his nation on the local level.

“I’m trying to bring my skills to where I live,” he said.

Straw learned to be resourceful, compassionate and calm in tense situations while working in the medical field in a war zone, he said. He believes these are all qualities that would be useful in the sheriff’s office.

“There’s no other kind (of leadership) where you’ll have that type of stress and pressure and people’s lives in your hands,” he said.

Straw entered the race in June when a Democratic caucus appointed him to oppose Republican candidate Dennis Quakenbush because a Democrat had not run in the primary. Straw said he supported Bill Clifford in the Republican primary, but when Clifford didn’t win, Straw decided he wanted to run.

Straw said if elected he would like to develop a program to line up jobs for inmates before they are released from jail, which lowers their recidivism rate.

He also is a supporter of legalizing medical cannabis to help people overcome opioid addictions.

“Medical marijuana is helping people get off (of opioids),” Straw said. “That’s something I think people are starting to see.”

Straw lives in Westfield with his wife, Wendy. He has a son and two daughters who range in age from 21 to 10 years old. He attends Northview Church and volunteers with multiple veterans organizations.

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