A sad and shocking announcement from the Yakima County sheriff Friday afternoon.

A recently diagnosed medical condition is forcing Sheriff Brian Winter to not seek re-election when his current term expires. The sheriff sent out a press release and it is shared here in its entirety.

Press Release – January 5, 2018 16:00

To the public that I serve:

It is my duty to inform you that I recently was diagnosed as having ALS, a terminal illness, which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Due to the nature of this announcement, I wanted to wait until after the Holidays, and here we are.

This condition may be related to my military service in the US Marine Corps, and more specifically to my combat deployment for Desert Storm.  Some statistics show Desert Storm veterans having twice the rate of ALS as the general public.  We are working with the VA in that regard.

I do not know yet how long I will continue working.  My initial plan is to work at least through the first half of the year, but that could change one way or the other.  Tammy and I are still processing this information and working through it together.  I am currently still cleared medically for full duty.  At this point, however, I do not think it is realistic for me to plan on running for re-election this year.

The greatest honor of my life has been to work as the Sheriff of this tremendous county.  I will send out an update once I know more, which will greatly depend on the rate at which this condition progresses.

- Brian

“Blessed are the peacemakers…”  Matthew 5:9

All of us who pray will be praying for you, Sheriff.  May you and your family find a measure of blessed peace in the days to come in whatever they may bring -- and thank you for your service to this nation and our valley.