Jerry DeLemus, a tea party activist who claims responsibility for turning Jerad and Amanda Miller away from Cliven Bundy’s ranch, is running for Sheriff of Strafford County, New Hampshire.
According to the Amherst Patch, DeLemus is a past chairman of the Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC and a founder of Rochester 9/12, a tea party group associated with Glenn Beck’s very weird 2010 rally on the National Mall. But his bid for County Sheriff suggests a strong association with the so-called ‘sovereign citizens’ movement, which considers that local elected position to be the highest constitutional office in the land.
In fact, DeLemus’s belief system includes a spectrum of right wing conspiracy theories. For example, when DeLemus and his wife took part in an exploratory meeting one year ago that was aimed at starting a militia, they sounded like John Birchers obsessed with Agenda 21.
DeLemus, and his wife Sue, a former NH state representative, said that several developments at state level were of current concern to them, including the elimination of wording in HB 135, which removes the ability of someone to “stand their ground” in the face of a serious threat.
They are also very disturbed by the Granite State Futures project through which, they assert, by using Nashua as a platform, authorities are seeking to control planning commissions across the state, leading to the erosion or loss of people’s property rights.
“This is being replicated, with some differences, across America,” said Jerry DeLemus, who has spoken passionately on the topic at Strafford Planning Commission meetings. Opponents of GSF insist that its roots can be found in a United Nations’ resolution — something emphatically denied by regional planners.
But rather than representing a tea party ticket, DeLemus is better understood as a scion of the paranoid, far right gun culture that the NRA has spent years cultivating on the fringe. Concurrent with his love of “stand your ground” laws, for example, DeLemus seems to think his ‘leadership’ at Bundy ranch is actually a qualification for a law enforcement office. The way he tells the story, DeLemus has magical powers to discriminate between good guys with guns and bad guys with guns:
Delemus said the Millers don’t share the values of the Bundy ranch protesters.
“Believe me, if I would have been in that restaurant, armed, and I’d have seen them shooting at those police, I’d have shot them myself,” Delemus said. “I’d have dropped them as sure as we’re sitting here.”
Delemus said it may have been possible to stop the Millers if local law enforcement intervened after the couple was sent away from the ranch.
“We did what we could,” Delemus said. “We saw there could have possibly been an issue and sent them on their way. We weren’t getting any assistance from the one legal authority that was around, which was Sheriff Gillespie. He wouldn’t have any communication with us.”
Ironically, Sheriff Gillespie has been quite busy investigating those other armed Bundy supporters — the ones DeLemus considers ‘good guys with guns’ — for making threats to federal law enforcement. Gillespie also seems to understand the role of a county sheriff a bit better than DeLemus, who has never, ever served in a real law enforcement job.
We will continue to monitor this story.