CAPT. RYAN WALDSCHMIDT answered questions in June at a candidate forum in the Ripon Common Council chambers. 
								          Tim Lyke photo
CAPT. RYAN WALDSCHMIDT answered questions in June at a candidate forum in the Ripon Common Council chambers. Tim Lyke photo

     Even before Fond du Lac County Sheriff Mylan “Mick” Fink filed his non-candidacy papers four months ago, two possible successors began vying to wear his star.  

     Fink has been a solid, steady presence as the county’s highest law-enforcement officer ...

     So it is with one of the candidates who hopes to replace him.

     The department’s No. 2 officer, Captain of Operations Ryan Waldschmidt, has been with the department since 1998. During his 20-year tenure he has served as jail guard, patrol officer, juvenile detention superintendent and assistant jail administrator. In 2016 he became the department’s second in command.

     The other man vying for the top post, deputy Mike Norton, has been with the department since 1995, hired as jail guard and promoted four years later to patrol officer.

     Norton and Waldschmidt will compete in a primary election next week Tuesday, when the men will seek the Republican nomination for the general election in November that will see no official Democrat candidates.  

     In a June forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area, the two candidates answered questions to lay out how their experiences and beliefs have informed their views about how the Fond du Lac County sheriff should function.

     Sometimes there wasn’t a lot of daylight between the candidates’ answers. But a discerning ear could notice some differences that indicated that Waldschmidt is the better informed, more prepared of the two. ...

     While both candidates appear to be thoughtful, conscientious officers, Waldschmidt appears more qualified to assume the mantle of sheriff.

                            — Tim Lyke