MARIENVILLE - Marienville resident and current Knox Borough Police Chief Jason Bowen has announced he is seeking the Republican nomination for Forest County sheriff in the May 18 primary election.
Forest County Sheriff Robert L. Wolfgang is not seeking reelection.
In an email exchange with the CLARION NEWS, Bowen said he did not originally plan on seeking the sheriff's position, but after being encouraged to do by several Forest County residents, he decided to do so.
"The Knox Borough community has treated me very well and it's a true honor to work with such great citizens and their families," said Bowen "My wife was asked by some co-workers if I would run for Forest County sheriff and she brought it up to me. I told her, I appreciate them asking but I honestly have no intentions of running as I'm very happy in Knox and enjoy working there."
Bowen said a few days later at a local store he was approached by another citizen who said they really believed he should run for sheriff.
"I told them the same thing -- that I'm very happy in Knox and I honestly have no desire to run," recalled Bowen. "In the conversations, though, some of the programs and policies I've helped develop or been part of in Knox are programs and policies that would work well in Forest County.
"So after thinking about it for some time, I talked it over with my wife and son and they said they both think I should run as well. After giving it some thought I told them that I would do it for the citizens of Forest County and if it works out that is great but if it doesn't then I'm very content in my current position."
In his campaign announcement, Bowen said he has been a police officer for nearly 13 years and worked his way up to the position as chief of police.
"I work in a small rural community and understand what it takes to work in this type of environment and the importance of getting to know the citizens and their families you serve," said Bowen. "I reside in Marienville with my wife Bobbi and our son Tyler, along with our two boxers we dearly love. We are purchasing our house. Forest County has been my home for the last 22 years and I plan on making it my home for the future as well."
Bowen is graduate of Clarion University-Venango with an associate degree in criminal justice. He went on to graduate from Mercyhurst Northeast Police Academy.
Bowen said he believes the role of a county sheriff includes working for and standing up for the people of the county.
"I clearly plan on doing that and stand by the following statement No one shall infringe on our rights to bear arms' -- and I plan on standing firm on that stance," said Bowen. "Some of the goals I'd like to accomplish include creating a ladies firearms and self-defense program to ensure and boost the confidence in females when it pertains to conceal carry; establish an open door policy to help procreate the working relationships between the sheriff and the citizens of Forest County to assist their needs and concerns; create more community involvement programs to assist families in need and also to bring families and neighbors out in the communities to get know each other; and continue the sheriff's office anonymous tip line to encourage the citizens of Forest County to help mitigate the suspicious activity they may come across on a daily basis whether it be an elderly scam targeting Forest County or drug activities."
Bowen said more information had been found on his campaign Facebook pageElect Jason Bowen-Forest County Sheriff.