By Michael Howell
A petition is being circulated to place Ted Dunlap on the November ballot as a write-in candidate for Ravalli County Sheriff. Dunlap, who advocates what he calls a “Constitutional Sheriff,” ran unsuccessfully in an effort to become Sheriff of Ada County in Idaho in 2010. Before that he ran unsuccessfully for the Governor’s seat in Idaho.
Dunlap stated in an interview by Elizabeth Hodge of FYIdaho in 2012, during his campaign for Sheriff that year, that “there’s no time to worry about the state now. We need to work on the county level.” In the same interview he described a “Constitutional Sheriff” as one who recognizes that he is the “highest authority in the county.”
“So when someone comes in and they are violating the Constitution, whether they are violating it under the law, under color of the law, or pretend law or pseudo law or not, the sheriff can stand tall with the support of the community and tell them to leave,” he said. He had high praise for Sheriff Richard Mack as one of the chief figures in the organization called the “Constitutional Sheriff and Police Officer Association.” Dunlap also supports the Oathkeepers Organization, an organization pushing similar tenets about the local sheriff being the ultimate authority in any given county. He said that he would like to see every county protected by a Constitutional Sheriff’s Office, deputies and posses. He is an advocate of citizen militias.
He told the interviewer that if the “Feds” come into a county, the Sheriff can tell them that “they are not the highest authority in the land, the Sheriff is.” He said a Constitutional Sheriff could have defused the tragedies in Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, by taking control of the situation and asking the Feds to leave.
Dunlap states that it is a good idea to begin organizing a local posse or militia even before a Constitutional Sheriff is elected so that when he is elected he will be ready to go to work. He recommends drawing on the local “Neighborhood Watch” groups for posse members.