Sheriffs elections are important because they are currently the only elected law enforcement position.  Sheriffs can be more in tune to the public’s needs than police chiefs.  The reason being is that they have to be re-elected to their positions.  This is a unique aspect of being a sheriff.  They need to convince the people of the county why they are a good sheriff and should be elected.  These sheriffs are then also part of the political machine.  They might also bend to the will of the loudest group to get elected or re elected.