Clay Whelan kicked off his campaign for Lee County Sheriff Wednesday with an official announcement he will seek office.

Whelan made the announcement during a news conference on the north lawn of the Old Lee County Courthouse at the corner of Galena Avenue and 3rd Street in Dixon, Ill.

Lee County Sheriff John Simonton has announced he will not seek re-election. Whelan is the first candidate to announce he will seek the office in the Republican Primary on June 28, 2022.