A former Detective with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office who lives in Gateway has entered the race to become the county’s next Sheriff.

Stoneybrook resident Mike Zaleski announced his candidacy earlier this week according to LeeElections.com.

Prior to moving to Southwest Florida, Zaleski also worked for 12 years as a police officer with the Chicago Police Department. He worked both patrolling the streets and with internal affairs.

According to the News-Press: Mike Zaleski, 48, worked for the sheriff’s office for about seven years before leaving in 2013 because of program cuts and uneasiness with internal office issues. He said he now works as a fraud investigator for a Fortune 500 company.

“Public service and law enforcement is my first love. We need a qualified person on the ticket. [Current Sheriff, Mike Scott] has had 12 years as sheriff, and the parts of the county that had problems when he started are still the parts with problems. It’s not hard to solve, it’s a matter of having the will and making the hard decisions to do it,”┬áZaleski told the News-Press.

Scott is running for re-election, and the Sheriff currently has three challengers for the position including Zaleski, James Didio, and Stephanie Eller. One other entrant, Robert Forrest, had announced his candidacy but has since withdrawn his name from consideration.

The election for Sheriff will take place on November 8, 2016 as part of the general election.

If you wish to contact Zaleski, you can email him at mikezforlee@gmail.com.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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