Although he hasn't officially announced his candidacy for the 2020 general election yet, Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson has indicated plans to run for a fourth term.

Tuesday morning, Thompson released a statement responding to Monday night's announcement by Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka that he intents to run for sheriff in the November 2020 general election. The race will be an interesting one, given the popularity of both men.

Thompson's has served as Black Hawk County's sheriff for the past 11 years. He was first elected in Nov. 2008, and took office on Jan. 1, 2009. Thompson earned 70-percent of the vote when he was re-elected in 2012, then ran unopposed for a third term in 2016.

The Winterset native has worn a Black Hawk County sheriff's uniform for more than 25 years. Before joining the department in March 1994, Thompson was a U.S. Army military police officer. He retired from the Iowa Army National Guard in 2009 with 21 years of service.

Thompson said his official campaign announcement will come at a later date.

Here's the statement Thompson released Tuesday morning, responding to Trelka's plans to run for sheriff:

"Sheriff Thompson acknowledges Chief Dan Trelka’s intention to run for Sheriff of Black Hawk County in 2020. He also recognizes that 2 weeks ago Chief Trelka announced his intention to retire and not run for anything for a year. He also recognizes that just last week Chief Trelka interviewed for Chief of Police for the City of Dunkerton. While Sheriff Thompson does not disparage anyone from running for elective office, the fact that Chief Trelka is also Supervisor Trelka does cause him pause. While he may not thought he had a conflict of interest before as the Chief of the Waterloo Police Department, there is very clearly a far reaching conflict of interest now competing for another elected office within the county.

Sheriff Thompson stood by Chief Trelka during his difficulties in 2016 when Mayor (Quentin) Hart was contemplating terminating the chief and Sheriff Thompson and Mayor Hart had several private conversations where the sheriff urged the mayor to give Chief Trelka more time to prove himself under a developed plan for improvement. "I guess no good deed goes unpunished," says Sheriff Thompson regarding those efforts back in 2016.

“If Chief Trelka thinks he can do a better job, then he is more than welcome to run… but he had better get himself far better educated than he is right now on what this job entails and how to do it.” “I intend to run for one more term because my administrative team and I are not done with the projects and lists of items we are still working on; as we recognize that long term change and improvement takes long-term commitment,
persistency, and dedicated focus… not moving from one opportunity to the next, treating public service as a personal stepping stone. My campaign announcement will come later on. We’ll let the Chief show us what he’s thinking for a few months first” said Sheriff
Thompson upon hearing the announcement. “I like competition and I look forward to a spirited campaign.”

Sheriff Thompson indicates that he did not have any knowledge that the Chief intended to run and that the Chief did not personally reach out or tell him of his plans prior to the announcement today."