CROWN POINT | Col. Richard Ligon, former city of Gary Public Safety director, has formed an exploratory committee to consider running for Lake County sheriff in 2014.
"People have been asking me if I'm interested and I've decided to put my name out there," Ligon said Monday.
Ligon is a graduate of Gary's Froebel High School, has a bachelor's degree in sociology, a master's degree in criminal justice and also graduated from the Federal Law Enforcement Academy, the Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.
He has 34 years of military experience and rose to the rank of colonel. He served as a law enforcement official for the U.S. Postal Service from 1981 to 2004.
He ran as a relatively political unknown in the 2010 Democratic primary and came within 1,120 votes of victory, losing to the eventual winner, Sheriff John Buncich.
Ligon said Monday he has filed paperwork to form an exploratory committee to gauge support and initiate fundraising.
"I don’t want to jump into the race blindly. I’d like to assess my preliminary efforts that will eventually determine whether or not I place myself on the ballot as an official candidate," Ligon stated in a prepared news release.
Buncich, who served from 1993 to 2002 as sheriff and is in the third year of new term, said in January he intends to run for re-election next year.
Lake County police Sgt. Oscar Martinez, a 20-year veteran of the force, said in January he is mulling another run for sheriff. Martinez ran third in the 2010 primary behind Buncich and Ligon.
Roy Dominguez declined comment Monday on any future campaign. He served as sheriff for eight years.
Ligon served as Gary public safety director for Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson in 2012. The job was eliminated from the city's budget in January.
"I'm doing what I want to do right now," Ligon said Monday.