Wayne Hudson, the second-in-command at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, will run for the top job, becoming the second person to publicly announce his intentions for the 2022 race.
Hudson, the first Black man to serve as chief deputy sheriff in the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, said Friday that he plans to run for sheriff.
“I truly believe that our entire community is stronger when law enforcement and the community work in a collaborative manner to solve criminal justice issues,” he said in his announcement via a press release. “I’m running for this office because I deeply care for the Douglas County community and for the law enforcement profession — and I want to continue the efforts of bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community.”
Hudson, 53, has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1994, first as a reserve deputy sheriff and soon after as a full-time deputy. Before that, he served six years in the U.S. Air Force. He was honorably discharged in 1992.
Hudson holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Wayne State College and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
As chief deputy, he is directly under interim Sheriff Tom Wheeler. Hudson is responsible for day-to-day operations of the department and oversees a $19 million budget.
Former Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning, who held the position for 26 years, retired in November. Wheeler was appointed as interim sheriff to complete the term and appointed Hudson to the chief deputy position.
Wheeler said then that he doesn’t expect to run for sheriff in 2022.
Hudson, a Democrat, will join Omaha Police Sgt. Aaron Hanson, a Republican, in the race. Hanson announced his bid for the position last month.
Hanson has been endorsed by his boss, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer, plus Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine.