Candidate Q&A: Carolyn ‘Bunny’ Welsh, candidate for Sheriff

EDITOR’S NOTE — The Times asked the 2015 candidates for Chester County county-wide office to answer a serious of questions relative to their campaign and office, as well as their personal background. Wanting to give each candidate a direct, unfiltered, option to communicate with the voters, these responses are not edited nor abridged in any way.

By Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh, Candidate, Chester County Sheriff


Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh

1. Whether you are an incumbent, or a challenger, what prompted you to seek public office?

I have always been interested in government and had often considered going into public service. When the previous Sheriff of Chester County was planning to retire in 1999, I was approached by some individuals who wanted to encourage me to run for the office. They had made an assessment of my skills and abilities, and felt I was highly qualified to serve as county sheriff. I was trained and certified as a Pennsylvania State Constable, and had an extensive background in business law. I had successfully owned and managed a construction firm with budgets and personnel far exceeding that of the sheriff’s office. I was encouraged to run because they felt I was uniquely qualified and would be an excellent candidate. I researched the history of the sheriff and became fascinated not only with the historic significance, but how today it plays such a vital role in the courts and in county government. I had confidence I could fulfill the duties and would bring a good combination of law enforcement and private sector experience to the job. I had a desire to serve the citizens and I made the decision to seek voter support and run for election.

2. Can you describe an achievement in your professional or elective life that you are especially proud of, and why?

I am extremely proud that under my leadership the Chester County Sheriff’s Office is one of the most highly respected in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond. The Office has been named twice by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency as the best in the Commonwealth for safety and community outreach. I have been recognized by my peers and been elected to leadership at every level, having served as the President of the Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association, and currently serving as Sergeant at Arms of the National Sheriffs’ Association. I was elected as President of the Class at the National Sheriff’s Institute. I am extremely proud of being acknowledged and elected to leadership by others in my profession.

3. Talk about a difficult decision you’ve had to make, how you went about it and what the outcome was?

Many opportunities have been presented to me over my years serving as sheriff. Although I would not consider them to be difficult decisions, they were certainly challenging and thought provoking choices. There have been offers of other positions, and encouragement to run for other elected offices in the county and in the state. While some were interesting, and certainly worth consideration, I always felt that my dedication and commitment to the Office of the Sheriff is where I could best serve the citizens of Chester County.

4. As not all Row Offices are as self explanatory as District Attorney or Sheriff, can you, briefly explain the duties of the office you seek?

The Sheriff’s Office is the enforcement arm of the Court of Common Pleas.

5. What qualities do you feel make you the best candidate for that job?

I am dedicated and committed to the Office of the Sheriff. I am a leader who cares deeply about the training and professionalism of those under my command. I have pride in each and every deputy and civilian employee and their service to the citizens of Chester County. Experience and qualifications are necessary to lead an excellent agency and make it even better. The ability to continue the good relationships I have established with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies is fundamental to the elected office of the sheriff. I feel I have earned the support of the citizens of Chester County who continue to have confidence in me and in the Sheriff’s Office.

6. What do you feel are the most important issues in your race?

There are no particular issues in the race for sheriff, however the trust of the citizens in the elected sheriff and the services the office provides is of the utmost importance. I believe the citizens have confidence in me, and I am respectfully asking for their vote and continued support.

7. Is there anything else that you would like the people of Chester County to know about you?

Candidate did not respond to question.

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