Laramie County Sheriff candidate Brian Kozak says he ''wants "to bring the sheriff's office into the 21st century" and says he's disappointed that one of his former rivals for the GOP nomination is not supporting the party nominee, instead opting to support independent candidate Jeff Barnes.

Kozak won the August 16 primary election with 9,375 votes. Don Hollingshead finished second with 8,464 votes and Boyd Wrede took third place with 6,039 votes.

Hollingshead, who is a Captain in the sheriff's office, on Tuesday issued a statement urging his supporters to back Barnes and saying he intended to campaign with Barnes in an effort to defeat Kozak on election day. Kozak is the former Police Chief of Cheyenne,

When contacted by Townsquare Media of Cheyenne, Kozak released this statement in response to Hollingshead:

''I ran on the promise to put public safety before politics; to bring fresh and experienced leadership to fix the problems highlighted by the voters. I believe that is what voters want and I believe that is why I won the Republican nomination.  It is unfortunate Captain Hollingshead is not supporting the republican nominee.  The last thing we need is more divisiveness.  My goals are to bring people together to reform the jail.  We want to initiate addiction assessments and implement drug treatment.  We believe it is important to institute a work release program and deploy inmate work crews into the community to paint over graffiti and help non-profit organizations. We need to come together to fight escalating violent crime, especially with the transient population. We want to bring in a positive leadership culture that is rooted by community engagement.  We need to revamp our recruiting and retention programs to bring the Sheriff's Office out of their state of collapse.  At the end of the day, we want to bring the Sheriff’s Office into the 21st Century."

Barnes, as an independent candidate, did not face a primary election battle, but he qualified for the general election ballot earlier this year by collecting the required number of signatures of registered voters.

Democrat Jess Fresquez faced no opposition for his party's nomination for sheriff and will also appear on the general election ballot in November.

Barnes is slated to appear on the ''Weekend in Wyoming" program on AM 650 KGAB on Saturday at 11:05. Kozak has been offered air time on the same program and has expressed an interest in appearing, but as of this writing a firm date and time for that interview had not been finalized.

Look! Southeast Wyoming's Snowy Elk Coffee Co. Wins Big At Competition


More From 101.9 KING-FM