Three Republican candidates and one Democrat will square off to see who will be on the ballot for Crawford County Sheriff in the November general election.
Deckard is the current Crawford County coroner and co-owner of United Life Care Ambulance Service. He and his wife, Valinda, have two sons, Adam and Aaron, and two grandchildren.
He is a graduate of Oblong High School and Southern Illinois University and is a member of the First Christian Church of Oblong, the Robinson Elks BPOE 1188 and is a volunteer firefighter with the Oblong Fire Department.
Deckard has trained in several law enforcement disciplines including lead homicide investigator, advanced forensic death investigations, crime scene security and evidence collection, arson investigation and handguns usage.
"I have worked in the private business sector all of my life. I am a business owner so I know the hardships involved with meeting payroll, paying insurance, having a budget to follow and supervising employees," Deckard said. "I have worked with the Crawford County Board for the past 17 years making a budget so I know what is expected from office holders. As an office holder,
"I intend to stay accountable to the voters of Crawford County. I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and I believe in the Constitution."
Marqua is an investigator with the Robinson Police Department has served as the interim chief of police. He and his wife, Andrea, have one daughter, Brittany, who is a graduate of Lincoln Trail College.
He is a graduate of Robinson High School and LTC and is a member of the Robinson Elks BPOE 1188, the Norman T. Richards Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 122 and is the president of the Robinson Police Pension Board.
Marqua was a volunteer for the Crawford County ESDA squad and worked in Crawford County as an EMT before joining the Robinson Police Department.
During his 24-year career with the Robinson Police Department, Marqua has worked with fourth- and fifth-grade students with the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. He was promoted from the rank of patrolman to sergeant, and spent 10 months as the interim chief of police before becoming an investigator.
Marqua has emergency medical training as well as training as a child forensic interviewer, and is a certified lead homicide investigator. He is also a current deputy coroner for Crawford County.
"I'm proud of my 24 years of service to Crawford County. I love Crawford County and I'm proud to call it my home," Marqua said. "I think my years of training and experience make me one of the best qualified candidates in the primary.
Rutan is a patrolman with the Robinson Police Department. He and his wife, Julie, live in rural Flat Rock with their son, Jonathon, and daughter, Kiya. They have another daughter, Ashley Miller, who lives in Danville.
He is a veteran of the United States Army, serving from 1986 to 1990 and continued his service with the Illinois National Guard until 1993.
Rutan attended Danville Area Community College Law Enforcement Program and was hired by the Robinson Police Department in 1991. He is the firearms instructor for the Robinson police and keeps current firearms certifications for all law enforcement departments in Crawford County.
He has also worked as a part-time police officer in Oblong and served as the interim chief of police.
Rutan is a member of the American Legion and VFW honor guards and assists in funeral details and plays Taps at services honoring our nation's veterans. He is also the current Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 305 in Robinson.
"I am honored to serve the community in which I live, and will faithfully continue to serve whatever department I am a part of," Rutan said. "I have always and will continue to believe everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with respect. So many people are focused on the inner workings of the department instead of what we are really here to do and that's to serve the public."
Cravens is the lone Democrat on the primary ballot for sheriff and will square off against the Republican winner in the November general election.
He is a veteran of the Crawford County Sheriff's Department, joining as a full-time deputy in 1997. Cravens has served in the department as chief deputy/under sheriff and also as detective. He currently holds the rank of sergeant.
Cravens is a veteran of the United States Air Force and worked as a law-enforcement specialist. He was honorably discharged and began work in civilian law enforcement as a corrections officer at a maximum security prison. Cravens worked for six years for the Palestine Police Department and then the Oblong Police Department.
Cravens has specialty training in investigating sexual assaults and crimes against children. He is a state certified lead homicide investigator and juvenile officer. He also has training in advanced interview and interrogation techniques.
Cravens and his wife, Marsha, live in Robinson. They have one son, Rich, who is a graduate of RHS and LTC, and three stepchildren, Staci, Brad and Bryan Lachenmayr.
"I truly believe I can work effectively within the budget parameters set forth by the county board and not compromise public safety while being fair to the employees," Cravens said. "In 28 years of overall law enforcement experience including the U.S. Military, State Corrections Officer, chief of police and chief deputy/undersheriff make me confident enough to promise I will scrutinize every dime I spend if elected sheriff. If after my four-year term, for whatever reason, I fail at being a good steward of your tax dollars, I will step aside and not seek re-election."