As a Fraternal Order of Police member, it is disconcerting to me that our organization at the state level would choose to endorse a candidate in a campaign without consulting the membership. The FOP based in Springfield endorsed Adam Niemerg for state representative on the basis that they believe that he has the best interest for law and order in mind, as reported by WFIW radio in Fairfield, Ill. on 2/19/20. This statement was said to be made by what WFIW named as ‘organizational chair’ Terry Trueblood. I know that FOP President Chris Southwood was contacted and questioned about this matter and replied that he was unaware that Andy Hires was a candidate for state representative in this primary election.

I find it strange that any organization would choose to endorse a candidate in an election without first gathering the information on who was running. I know that the three local FOP lodges within the 109th district have chosen to endorse Andy Hires in this election and think that the fact that the FOP at the state level is not standing with their membership within the district is cause for concern.

It was my understanding that the FOP is an organization of brotherhood, with an esteemed reputation for putting the interests of their members in all that they do. I find the decision to endorse Mr. Niemerg based on the idea that he has the best interest in law and order compared to Andy to be nothing other than false. Andy has been a police officer for 26 years, Sheriff for the last 14 years, a member of the FOP, and has worked closely with our organization for many years.

Why did the FOP at the state level drop the ball, and their only reply is that they didn't know? Police are clear, specific, and have to pay attention to detail. How do you make informed decisions without first gathering all of the information? Why would you make that decision without consulting your membership when your actions are supposed to be in the best interests of those you represent?

Andy Hires a man of integrity, a public servant, a respected police officer, and someone you can be proud to serve under. I can't speak for everyone behind the badge, buts it no secret that Andy has the support of many agencies throughout our district. I would hope that this is some sort of oversight by the FOP in Springfield.

I appreciate everything that the FOP does for myself and others in law enforcement. However, I believe that Andy got short-changed here, forgotten about by those he has had a working relationship with for so long, or possibly this is just a mistake. Mr. Trueblood, not all of us agree with you about who has the best interest for law and order in mind, in this election. However, you may or may not care what other FOP members think, because you didn't ask us. Or maybe you truly didn't know who was actually running in this race.

I hope you all will support Andy in the upcoming election. His willingness to serve, dedication, confidence in the ability to produce sound solutions to stressful problems will no doubt be a positive impact on our legislature. By the way, he definitely has an interest in law and order.


Drew Bunting