Candidates for Bourbon County Sheriff on the August Primary Ballot

This is part of a series featuring the candidates who will appear on the August Primary Ballot in Bourbon County.

There are two candidates for sheriff.

Nelson Blythe

Nelson Blythe, 29, has approximately seven years of “very proactive law enforcement,” he said.

“The primary role of the Sheriff is to protect life, property rights and Amendment rights of the residents of Bourbon County,” he said.  “This includes protecting rights that are threatened by State or Federal authorities.”

“The most pressing issues should be to reign in the budget that has steadily been rising, work to bring in revenue by utilizing the jail, improve cooperation with the rest of the County officials and actively communicate with the public on progress in these areas all throughout the elected term, not just during election season.”

He is involved in the community work in law enforcement and commissioner work, he said. “I attend Gracelife Church for morning services and Bethel Community Church for evening services and  I’m also a member of The Fort Jiujitsu Club.”


Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin. Submitted photo.

Bill Martin,  58, is the current elected  Bourbon County Sheriff.

Martin sees the most pressing issue facing his office as:

“Maintaining staff and working with a limited budget to provide a professional service to the community,” he said.

The sheriff’s primary role is enforcing Federal and State laws; that do not interfere with both Kansas and U.S. Constitutions, he said.

His education:

  • National Sheriff’s Institute NSI: (Class 109th) Aurora, Colorado.
  • Executive Level Management Education and Training
  • Rural Executive Management Institute (R.E.M.I.) A management education/training program designed to prepare rural law enforcement executives for unique challenges. Session XLIV, St. Louis Missouri.
  • FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (FBI-LEEDA)
  • Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC)
  • Basic Non-Commissioned Leadership Course (BNOC)
  • 2020 Professional Development and Leadership Academy
  • Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC)
  • Kansas Sheriff’s Academy (KLETC)
  • Kansas City Missouri Police Department Regional Training Center, 122nd class

His experience (34 years)

  • Bourbon County Sheriff (current)
  • S. Army (Active Service)
  • Kansas National Guard (Military Police)
  • Kansas City Missouri Police Dept.
  • Pittsburg (Kansas) Police Dept.
  • Fort Scott Police Dept.

He has been involved in the community in the following ways:

  • Federal and State (public safety) Grant Program Reviewer/Elevator
  • Homeland Security Council Representative for Bourbon County, Kansas
  • Kansas Peace Officer Association, District 8 Board of Governor, seated member.
  • Quest Speaker for the International Chief of Police Association, body-cam presentation, San Deigo, Ca. Aug 2023
  • Fort Scott Community College Foundation Board
  • Fort Scott Community College Criminal Justice Advisory Board
  • Ali-Kemp Women’s Self-Defense T.A.K.E program training
  • Special Olympics Golf Tournament Sponsor
  • Fort Scott Men’s Kiwanis, Vice-President
  • Fort Scott Presbyterian Seated Session member, building and grounds committee member.
  • Substitute Teacher: Uniontown School District 235
  • Boys Scout Pack 0114 Charter Organization Representative (Fort Scott)
  • Good Neighbor Action Team, (GNAT) member













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