Sheriff’s race features 2 department veterans


The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department’s chief deputy and its detective sergeant recently answered a call together. They were the first two officers on the scene after a report of a domestic situation complicated by the presence of a baseball bat.


Chief Deputy Tim Lampert and Detective Sgt. Tom Kleinhelter arrived and, thankfully, determined that initial report had been somewhat inaccurate.

The law enforcement officers who were there for each other that day are both 49-year-old Jasper residents heavily involved in local organizations and agencies with more than 50 years of service to the department between them.

But, while they are on the same side during work shifts, they are squaring off in the November general election as both seek to succeed the retiring Donny Lampert as county sheriff.

Tim Lampert, the Democrat candidate and a brother to the current sheriff, is in his 28th year with the department. He hired on in 1990 as a jail officer, was promoted to a road deputy in 1994 and was appointed chief deputy in 2011.

Kleinhelter, running as the GOP candidate, hits the 25-year mark with the department in January. He started as a jail officer in 1994, and has held many positions since. He has been a detective sergeant the past five years.

Tim Lampert says he entered law enforcement to help people, and his bid for sheriff is his attempt to continue with that mission.

“That passion has grown, and grown and grown,” he says. Many of his memberships and outside activities, he says, are designed to allow him to interact with children and adults in ways where he can try to make a difference.

“I want to have a good, positive interaction with children so they know, if they ever need help, they can come to us,” Tim Lampert says.

Kleinhelter believes he was prompted by a higher power to make his run for sheriff. Initially, some fellow deputies asked if he would run. Then, the local Republican Party asked if he’d be their candidate. Next, he says, he was asked if he’d consider being a candidate for sheriff on the local Democrat ballot.

After all that, he says, he spoke with his wife, Angie, and, during that discussion, he says he concluded thusly, “OK, I may be a slow learner, but I’m going to take this as somebody above me saying, ‘Hey, I think you just need to do this’.”

In addition to feeling called to run, Kleinhelter says he also believes he has the leadership skills “to manage people and bring our department back to where every citizen can be proud of the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department.”

Tim Lampert, a certified general instructor and certified firearms instructor, says officer training will be a focus when he is sheriff, as will seeking input from members of the department on the best ways to help youth and combat local drug addiction issues.

Evidence-based programs in the jail will be promoted by Tim Lampert as sheriff to address issues creating reoccurring offenders. He says he will also seek any available grant assistance to help deputies get the equipment necessary to keep them safe and allow them to make a difference policing the county.

Kleinhelter wants to head a visible, proactive law enforcement agency that every citizen in the county can be proud of, “and I want our employees to know their sheriff has their back.” He will review programs in place at the jail, and anticipates changes there to ensure a safe environment for staff, inmates and the public.

Both candidates are big into baseball.

Tim Lampert is a Little League coach and board member who also loves hunting, especially bow hunting. He is an archery coach for the National Archery in the Schools Program.

Kleinhelter is a licensed Indiana High School Athletic Association baseball and basketball official, and was a youth baseball coach and travel league coach for more than nine years.

Tim Lampert and his wife, Jennifer, are the parents of three children: Logan, 15, Caleb, 11, and Lexi, 8.

Tom and Angie Kleinhelter are the parents of two adult children: Taylor and Reece.


Other local races include:


U.S. Senate (Mike Braun / Lucy Brenton / Joe Donnelly)

District 8 U.S. Representative (Larry Bucshon / William Tanoos)

Indiana Senate 47 (Erin Houchin / Nick Siler)

Indiana House 63 (Joe Lannan / Shane Lindauer)

Indiana House 74 (Steve Bartels / Larry Kleeman)

Dubois County Sheriff (Tom Kleinhelter / Tim Lampert)

Dubois County Clerk (Amy Kippenbrock / Kiersten Knies)

Dubois County Recorder (Jackie McPherron / Gail Reutman)

Dubois County Assessor (Eve Drew / Angie Giesler)

Dubois County Council District 2 (Becky Beckman / Darren Patterson)

Dubois County Council District 3 (Charmain Klem / Deborah Major)

Cass Township Advisory Board (Lee Bilderback / Randy Boehm / Steve Eckert / Lisa Matthews)

Patoka Township Trustee (Don Astrike / Jeff Summers)

Madison Township Trustee (Scott Blazey / Brett Collignon)

Southwest Dubois School Board (Jason Heile / Belinda Lange)

Greater Jasper School Board (Jimmy Corbin / Ken Schnaus)

Spencer County Roundup


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