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Pineiroa files letter of intent to run for sheriff

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By Forrest Berkshire, Editor

Nelson County has the first name headed for the 2018 election ballot even before the official date to file.

Ramon Pineiroa filed a notice of intent Tuesday to run for Nelson County Sheriff.

“The time was right after (Sheriff Ed Mattingly) told me he wasn’t going to run again,” Pineiroa told the Standard Friday.

Pineiroa had been seriously considering a run for some time, and said two of his main focuses will be getting more deputies on the road without increasing personnel and working to fight the drug problem in the county.

“There’s a lot of drugs in Nelson County, and not just marijuana,” Pineiroa said.

He said it is especially important to fight drugs from entering the schools, and he thought a school resource officer was one tool to use. He also said having deputies engage with the schools more and getting to know the teachers would help raise their awareness of problems.

Pineiroa said he has worked out a way to have more deputies on the road at a time without having to hire more through scheduling and shift rotations.

“The county is growing so much, I believe we should have more on the road, but I believe we can do it with the number of guys we have in the department,” he said.

Pineiroa, 44, started with the department in 2006, after serving nine years in the U.S. Army as a cavalry scout. During his service in the Army he worked as a training non-commissioned officer with the Armor School at Fort Knox and served two tours in Korea.

It was during his time at Fort Knox that the Florida native met his wife, Tania Downs Pineiroa, and moved to Nelson County. They have raised three children who range in ages from 18 to 20.

“I chose Bardstown not just as a community to live in, but a community to be a part of and raise my family in,” he said.

Until earlier this month, Pineiroa was Mattingly’s chief deputy and second in command, but the Sheriff reorganized the department to create a captain’s position and promoted Mike Clark to that position. Pineiroa is now a team leader on the night patrol.

Pineiroa is not officially on the ballot until he files with the county clerk’s office on Nov. 8. But he submitted his letter of intent with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance Tuesday, which allows him to start raising and spending money.

He announced his intention to run on Facebook Thursday and by Friday afternoon the post had received over 100 shares and nearly as many comments of support and offers to help with his campaign.

Pineiroa also said Friday he had received several phone calls from people and was pleasantly surprised by the feedback.

“It’s a little bit overwhelming,” he said. “I’m just overwhelmed with everyone’s support.”