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Sheriff's race to be contested
MONROE - Two longtime lawmen intend to become Green County sheriff once more in November, but only one can possess the title.

Former sheriff Jeff Skatrud announced Monday he will run for the seat against incumbent Mark Rohloff, who said he took out nomination papers from the Green County clerk with the intention of being re-elected in the fall. Rohloff has kept the seat since he was appointed by Gov. Scott Walker in November 2013 after Skatrud left office in the middle of his term.

"My family needed my help with my folks, who were elderly," Skatrud said, adding that he also pursued a part-time job with increased flexibility after retiring as sheriff in September 2013.

Rohloff, a Janesville native, has spent nearly 40 years in area law enforcement. When he was appointed to the sheriff's office, he had been with the Monroe Police Department for more than two decades, most recently serving as manager of its daily operations. He began in the Brodhead Police Department in 1979, moving to the Janesville department in 1986.

Rohloff won the seat in an unopposed race in November 2014. Sheriffs serve four-year terms in Wisconsin and have no term limits.

"I've done quite well with the department," Rohloff said. "I have made significant improvements. Coming in from the Monroe Police Department, I brought in new ideas, initiatives, technology. Sometimes you have the same people in the same department for years, you don't see how things can be changed because you've always done things a certain way."

Decatur native Skatrud spent 32 years with the sheriff's office before his retirement. He worked his way through the ranks, starting with night patrol, working as an undercover drug agent and was eventually elected sheriff in November 2010 to replace outgoing Randy Roderick.

"I've always missed it," Skatrud said. "I've missed it since the day I walked out the door."

Skatrud said he had recently been working part time within the sheriff's department until March, when he decided to step down to avoid tension during an election. Skatrud said he told Rohloff his campaign intentions when he left.

"I have nothing bad to say about Jeff," Rohloff said. "It's just hard to understand why you would leave an office mid-term and then expect voters to take you back."

Skatrud echoed Rohloff's sentiment of having nothing negative to say about his now opponent. He noted that the two differed when it came to managing a department.

"I'm offering a contrast," Skatrud said. "I am definitely not going to be critical of Mark Rohloff. We just have a different style. I like people. I enjoy every one of my relationships, whether with the community or with the officers."

Rohloff said he maintains confidence in the way he has run the department so far and maintained his investment in the department, noting he has "been fully invested since 2013."