LA GRANDE — Cody Bowen is looking to replace his boss as sheriff of Union County.

Bowen announced his candidacy for sheriff Wednesday, stating his visions and goals for the office “are to foster and build community partnerships, work together to be more effective” with other Union County professionals in law enforcement, emergency services, fire and human services to benefit the entire community.

“We need a sheriff’s office that is strengthened through better relationships with community input and interaction,” Bowen said. “I believe open communication with the residents of Union County is the most important way for a sheriff to address important issues that affect our community. I will also use my experience to place more emphasis on the youth within Union County so that our community has the brightest future.”

He said he wants to work toward taking preventative measures in schools to reach youth. 

“I want to get into why people are going into the system and work to prevent it from happening from the start,” Bowen said. “We want to keep people from going in and out of custody.”

Bowen said he was born and raised in Union County, attended school in La Grande and Cove and has lived in La Grande, Cove and Union. He worked for Les Schwab Tire Center, La Grande, for 15 years, 10 of which he was a supervisor. He also was a reserve deputy with the sheriff’s office for approximately two years during that time, and in 2011 he took a job as a full-time deputy.

“I discovered a passion for providing the people of Union County professional law enforcement service when citizens needed it most,” he said.

Bowen has served as an instructor in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, as a patrol deputy and for the last five years as the school resource deputy.

Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen is seeking a fifth term. Bowen’s candidacy expands the field of challengers to three. Bill Miller of Elgin and Shane Rollins of Cove also are running for sheriff. Miller left the Union County Sheriff’s Office in August 2018 for a job in parole and probation. Rollins has a background in military policing and private security.

Bowen said he has enjoyed working with Rasmussen. He has not had the chance to meet Rollins but worked directly under Miller for a period of time. 

The deadline to file as a candidate is March 10.

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