Mike Richter is both honored and excited by the opportunity to become your next Sheriff of Washburn County. Mike will be running as a Republican candidate in the August 14th Primary election. Mike is the “hometown” candidate, born and raised in Shell Lake, and has resided in Washburn County his entire life. Mike and his wife of 20 years, Dawn, live in the Town of Bashaw, where they have raised their 5 children. After receiving an Associate Degree in Police Science, Mike worked for The Spooner and Shell Lake Police Departments for two years. Mike then realized his dream of becoming a Washburn County Deputy Sheriff, when he was hired by Sheriff Don Fuller.

As many of you know, Sheriff Dryden has announced that he will be retiring after an extremely successful and effective career of serving as your Sheriff.  Sheriff Dryden has established and maintained a level of professionalism and a reputation of service that extends far beyond the boundaries of Washburn County. As your Sheriff, Mike will continue the long-standing professional service that has come to be expected by the residents of Washburn County.

The foundation of being an effective law enforcement leader is developing meaningful relationships with community groups, effective leaders, invested partners, and interested citizens. Mike has already established these necessary relationships through collaboration and networking in Washburn County and Northern Wisconsin over the past three decades. Mike is honored to announce the endorsements of the following exemplary leaders from Washburn County and beyond:

  • Washburn County Sheriff Terry Dryden 
  • Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald
  • Washburn County District Attorney (Ret.) Tom Frost
  • Wisconsin Attorney General (2007-2015) J.B. Van Hollen 
  • Washburn County Sheriff (Ret.) Don Fuller
  • Washburn County Clerk Lolita Olson
  • Washburn County Health & Human Services Director Jim Leduc
  • Washburn County Clerk of Court Shannon Anderson
  • Washburn County Highway Commissioner Frank Scalzo
  • Washburn County Maintenance Supervisor Kiko Murphy  
  • Washburn County I.T. Director Tom Boron       
  • Entrepreneur & Farmer Tom Perlick     

See full list of Endorsements at: RichterforSheriff.com

Many candidates for public office will talk about what they will do, should they become elected. Proven leadership is exhibited by the extraordinary and exemplary accomplishments that have already been achieved. Mike Richter has served at The Washburn County Sheriff’s Office for over 30 years, during which time these following notable milestones in Mike’s law enforcement career were realized, among many others:

  • Obtained the most Federal Court Indictments in the history of The Sheriff’s  Office
  • Received The Wisconsin Counties Association Lifesaving Award
  • Washburn County’s 1st Special Response Team Leader, Held the Position 12 Years Until Promoted to Chief Deputy
  • Lead Sheriff’s Office Investigator on Multiple Homicide Cases, All Resulting in Homicide Convictions
  • First Chief Deputy in Wisconsin to Graduate from Command College
  • Project Manager for Configuration and Implementation of Sheriff’s Office RMS and CAD Systems
  • University of Wisconsin Certified Public Manager
  • As Drug Investigator, Orchestrated the Largest Undercover Controlled Meth Purchase, and Responsible For Seizure of the Largest Quantity of Meth in Washburn County history. 

See full list of Accomplishments at: RichterforSheriff.com

Through the years of service with The Sheriff's Office, many opportunities have presented themselves to prove Mike's leadership skills and abilities. Mike has proven himself with successful results in these examples, and was honored to be chosen for the assignments:

  • Created the schedule and co-supervised operations involving over 100 Officers during an outlaw motorcycle rally in Northwest Wisconsin. Established the Command Post north of Minong as the base of operations. Mike conducted daily briefings for patrol and interdiction assignments. This operation included FBI, DEA, WI Emergency Police Services, with air support from U.S. Border Patrol.
  • Team Leader for Washburn County SRT during the execution of simultaneous Federal arrest warrants on the LCO Reservation and throughout Wisconsin. The operation included 200 SWAT operators that conducted raids on all target locations within a 10 minute time window. 
  • Mike was the Law Enforcement Incident Commander during the Cortec chemical explosion and fire. Working in a unified command with Fire and EMS, Mike requested mutual aid from numerous surrounding law enforcement agencies. Incoming traffic was blocked at checkpoints restricting travel in south Spooner. Law officers evacuated 75-100 residences within in a ½ mile radius of the explosion site. Several citizens were treated for chemical irritation; however, no additional injuries were sustained during the Emergency Services response.

The Office of Sheriff has a multitude of responsibilities and liabilities that go with the job. Your next Sheriff needs to be well versed in the operation of the jail, service to the Court, technology and protocol in a communication center, supervision of patrol practices and tactical operations, and above all, effectively serving the community. Mike has prepared for all of these necessary and critical elements of an effective Sheriff, by serving as The Washburn County Chief Deputy for the past 13 years. The Chief Deputy position, second in command to the Sheriff, has provided Mike with a view of the Sheriff’s Constitutional Office that few others see. Mike has seen and subsequently prepared for the economics, politics, support, stress, and team building that can challenge a Sheriff. Witnessing these challenges from The Chief Deputy’s chair gives Mike an extraordinary advantage in being more prepared to be Sheriff of Washburn County than anyone else in this race could be. 

In preparing to be your next Sheriff, Mike Richter has received some of the most current and highly acclaimed law enforcement management training. Mike was the first Chief Deputy in Wisconsin to Graduate from Command College, presented by The University of Wisconsin and The Wisconsin Department of Justice. This accomplishment also resulted in Mike becoming a Certified Public Manager in the State of Wisconsin. Mike completed the University of Northwestern Staff and Command course as a preparatory course for Command College. Mike has attended the Law Enforcement Management Conference hosted by WITC for the past 13 years. 

As a lifelong resident of Washburn County, Mike has a special investment in the community he has lived, worked and served in all of these years. He believes that being your next Sheriff is not just a position, but a calling, and takes very seriously the oath to serve and protect. Mike is very proud of the exceptional and professional staff currently serving at The Sheriff’s Office. This team has continually trained and adapted in order to constantly improve the level of service provided to the community. Mike is excited that the staff’s unselfish desire to enhance services to Washburn County will be the perfect platform to launch new projects and programs, which will continue to make Washburn County a good place to visit and a great place to call home!

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Authorized by Mike Richter

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