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    Muladore strives to achieve life goal of becoming Antrim County sheriff

    By Paul Welitzkin, The Petoskey News-Review,

    2024-04-16
    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1zY6gC_0sSM52Gc00

    GAYLORD — For Otsego County Undersheriff Matt Muladore, running for sheriff of Antrim County represents a chance to fulfill a dream.

    "You can never give up on a dream," said Muladore, who graduated from Ellsworth High School and still lives in the Antrim County community. He began his law enforcement career with the road patrol in Antrim County.

    Back when he interviewed for the position in Antrim, he was asked where he pictured himself at the end of his career.

    "My goal is to be the sheriff of Antrim County was my answer when I was in my early 20s. I never gave up on that goal over the years. The places that life has taken me have better prepared me to go back to Antrim County," Muladore said.

    Last year, longtime Antrim County Sheriff Daniel Bean retired from the department after serving for 15 years. The undersheriff, Kevin Hoch, was named the interim replacement. Hoch and Muladore will face off for the Republican nomination for sheriff in the August primary.

    Muladore has worked in the Otsego County Sheriff Department since 2010. He began his duties as undersheriff to sheriff Matthew Nowicki in 2013. He believes the experience he has gained in Otsego County has prepared him well for the Antrim County position.

    "I have been through a lot here — a tornado and officer-involved shootings. Nobody over there has that type of leadership experience," he said. "I have done well for Otsego County over the years. I have tried to make it a progressive office with Sheriff Nowicki's help. He has been my mentor since the day I got here."

    Nowicki not only taught Muladore about law enforcement, he also schooled him in politics "because that is highly involved (in the position). He taught me how to navigate that and do it with dignity and respect. Had I not had him as a mentor, I don't think I would be where I am at today," Muladore said.

    Even though he worked in Otsego County, Muladore has maintained close ties to Ellsworth.

    "It's where I live and where my kids go to school and I am on the school board," he said.

    If he is successful in the August election, Muladore admits it will be hard to leave Otsego County.

    "It will be bittersweet if I win because I helped to develop this office along with Sheriff Nowicki. Everybody that works for us I had a hand in their hiring. To leave will be hard and I may shed a tear or two," he said.

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    Although Antrim and Otsego counties share a border in Northern Michigan, there are different dynamics in the two counties.

    "Here you have a central hub in Gaylord with a lot of chain stores and I-75. But 10 minutes outside of Gaylord, it can be a remote area. Antrim has a lot of villages like Bellaire and Elk Rapids on one side and Mancelona on the other with a huge Torch Lake splitting it up. That means there are a lot of local leaders to stay in contact with," said Muladore.

    He acknowledges that losing the election is a possibility but that didn't deter him. Muladore will be doing a lot of door-to-door campaigning and shaking a lot of hands.

    "Yes it is hard to put yourself out there and risk rejection. But I am also doing this for my kids. I don't want them to be afraid to try because it may not work out. Trying is a very important life lesson," he said.

    Contact Paul Welitzkin at pwelitzkin@gaylordheraldtimes.com.

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