Dear Editor,

Although I am not a resident of McDonough County, I have been following the race for Sheriff very closely. I have a vested interest since my grandchildren live in Macomb, and attend school there. I want the same things that every grandparent wants: for them to grow up in a safe community, receive a good education and see good examples of productive, honest, hardworking adults.
Everyone knows the facts about Nick Petitgout: that he was a Marine, is the current Chief Deputy, attended Western Illinois University, has a beautiful wife, Stacie, and two great sons.
I’d like to share a bit more insight into his character, though. The things that everyone might not be aware of.
Nick is a very focused man who does not shy away from hard work. When first starting out, Nick often worked two jobs to provide for his family and allow his wife, Stacie, to continue her education, earning her Master’s degree and her Specialist Degree in School Psychology. Early on, this was while he was finishing his education as well. This speaks to his integrity and vision, his ability to plan for long-term goals.
He has a genuine concern for the citizens of McDonough County and has personally visited over 3,000 homes across the county to meet families, business owners, and community leaders. These visits are not always fun. He has been out there in rain, snow and extreme cold. Nick has met many wonderful people. Some who may support him and others who may not but all citizens that deserve to know their candidate for Sheriff and to know that their voices will be heard. He’s met their families, and their pets, as well as an unfriendly dog or two (three dog bites, so far). He has done this while managing to be an involved parent and spouse while continuing to work full-time as your Chief Deputy. This speaks to his dedication.
Okay, it’s time to come clean and admit I’m a bit prejudiced when it comes to Nick. You see, I am his Mother-in-law. I suppose most sons-in-law would cringe at the thought of their mother-in-law writing a letter to a newspaper about them but Nick knows he doesn’t need to worry.
Nick has shown me throughout his 12-year marriage to my daughter, Stacie, that he is tenacious, honest and willing to work tirelessly for what he believes in. I admit that I did worry about his venture into politics. I know how difficult it can be, how demanding it is to run a campaign, and we are all aware that parts of it that can get ugly, but frankly it wouldn’t be fair to the citizens of McDonough County if a meddling mother-in-law made any attempt to prevent them from getting the opportunity to get to know Nick Petitgout, his values, his work ethic and their next Sheriff.

Mary E. Marlet
Granite City, Ill.