Nodaway County Sheriff Randy Strong officially announced his bid for reelection Feb. 24.
After having served in office for a four-year term, Strong will run against his 2016 opponent Darren White once again for the position in November. The election, coinciding with the national presidential election, will look similar to the former competitive race Maryville and its surrounding communities saw from the two candidates just four years ago.
Strong will run as a Republican with a focus on keeping the office investigation-based and pushing for further victim advocacy in the county.
White will run as a democrat promoting accessibility to the public and transparency as major candidate platforms.
Strong said his time as sheriff has been focused on investigation-related training for the Sheriff’s Office staff, and he said he is confident his work has benefited the county.
“It has been my pleasure to have served you these past three years,” Strong said. “I am humbled by the support I have received from our great and diverse community.”
Strong has traveled a long road of public servitude that amounted to 41 years in law enforcement before being elected Nodaway County Sheriff.
In 1974 Strong enrolled at Northwest as an art major. He later realized he wanted to do something more than art and got his first job with Maryville Public Safety in 1979.
In 1992 he was promoted to detective, and during his time as detective, he was placed on Northwest Missouri Major Case Squad working homicides. Strong recently brought back the major case squad, a group that dissolved after his retirement from public safety.
Today, the major case squad is assigned special cases that are in need of specialized investigations techniques.
“I partnered with narcotics units on a county, state and federal level to target dealers that poison our communities,” Strong said in his press release announcement.
Strong received special deputization as U.S. Marshal twice, and through that honor was assigned a federal case agent in the murder of a federal drug witness. His second assignment as U.S. Marshal was his placement on the Nitro Task Force targeting armed drug traffickers.
In 2012, he retired from the Maryville Public Safety and became investigations manager for the Missouri inspector general.
Strong took office as Nodaway County Sheriff Jan. 1, 2017. During his time as sheriff, Strong won several awards, including an award from the U.S. Attorney's Office for work on United States v. Emery, where the murder of a federal witness was tried.
Strong also worked on the board of rescue for a kidnapped infant named Victoria Jo Stinnent that received national attention, where a 23-year-old pregnant woman Bobby Jo Stinnent was found dead in her home. Strong helped investigate and bring to court the accused Lisa M. Montgomery, who murdered Bobby Jo Stinnent and cut Victoria Jo Stinnent out of her womb. Montgomery is the only woman on death row in federal prison.
Strong’s investigative works are shown in five documentary movies and are written about in three true crime books.
Strong is a part of the sexual assault response team at Northwest, where he connects with victim advocates from the Children and Family Center and investigates when students wish to press charges.
“I adopted a ‘trauma-informed care for victims’ approach by partnering with victim advocates,” Strong said. “I made a commitment … to bring quality training to our five-county area for law enforcement, children’s services, victim’s advocates and prosecutors.”
The Children and Family Center of Nodaway County has worked closely with Strong for several projects and trainings for area law enforcement and prosecutors, the most recent being a training on child abuse.
Going forward into the 2020 election, Strong said he wishes to let voters know that his additional training of staff and work with the victim advocates in Nodaway County are a focus he will continue to uphold.
“To know what I will accomplish in another four years, you only have to look at what I have in the first four,” Strong said.