I have my roots in Muskegon County and was born at Muskegon General Hospital to Ronald Lee and Sandra Kay Grasmeyer. Much of my childhood was spent in Muskegon and Oceana Counties but, after multiple moves, I graduated from Morley Stanwood High School. Following high school graduation, I decided to sign up to serve in the United States Marine Corps. I wanted to continue the family legacy of serving my country. My dad previously served in the Navy and my grandfather in the Army.
I spent 1990-1998 serving my country as a US Marine during Desert Storm, which included deployments to and operations in Norway and Okinawa Japan, among others. Over my years of service, I worked my way up from private, to private first class, to lance corporal, to corporal, to sergeant. After serving in the Marines, I joined the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Department in Virginia. However, I was ready to return home. Unfortunately, the year was 1999 and Governor Engler had just ordered to freeze hiring for state employees, which meant that the police academy that I had been set to attend was no longer being offered. I decided to move home to Muskegon, MI, regardless, and get back to my roots. I have lived in Muskegon since 1999. I married in 2004 and currently have four children, with the fifth on the way. It’s been an exciting journey coming home and now I look forward to these next adventures of serving my community.
My decision to run for Muskegon County Sheriff
Some of you might ask, what prompted you to run for Sheriff of Muskegon County? Well, I can tell you, it’s not because I have too much free time on my hands. Between helping care for a large family and running multiple businesses, a lot of free time is not something that I have. Yet, here I am; running for Muskegon County Sheriff.
I have to tell you that running for Sheriff hadn’t been something I had pondered for years. Yet fairly recently, while dropping off my sons for the school bus, all of that changed. I was sitting there, waiting for the bus, thinking of all that I needed to get done. The bus pulled away, and as I started my drive into work, an overwhelming feeling came over me. I felt impressed to run for Sheriff. I laughed and thought to myself “right” like I need one more thing to do. I tried to shrug it off and continue my day. But, as the day progressed I couldn’t get this feeling to go away. All I could think about was that I needed to check into things. I couldn’t help but think that I would be making a big mistake to ignore this feeling. I kept trying to justify why I didn’t have time to run for Sheriff with working full-time, owning a security company, starting a new gun selling business and, to top it all off, my wife and I are expecting our fifth baby this September. Needless to say, the excuses I was making weren’t changing my desire to pursue this. I decided to stop into the clerk’s office and file for running. I signed up and the passion and drive has only continued to build.
As I started my campaign effort, I was both anxious and excited. I had so many uncertainties as to how others would receive my request for support, and yet I have been overwhelmed with other’s support and generosity. Even people I wasn’t directly speaking with came up to offer support without me asking. I’ve met a lot of good people already and will surely meet many more as my campaign moves forward. This generosity and warm reception has only reconfirmed my prompting to run.
Now, some might ask, why are you running and why as an independent? My response would be this; I take pleasure in serving others. I feel that my previous experiences have helped pave the way for a smooth transition into this position, and feel that Muskegon County is ready for a change in leadership. Lastly, I believe that the person elected to this position needs to be unbiased to party affiliation so that every individual member of the community can be assured that they will be treated fairly and with honor and respect.