Washtenaw County Sheriff

Ken Magee

Ken Magee

OUTCOME: Ken Magee was defeated by incumbent Jerry ClaytonClayton received 68.69% of the vote, compared to 30.92% for Magee. Voter turnout was 66.38%. For more results, check the Washtenaw County elections site.

Ken Magee is a former law enforcement professional, serving three years as head of the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety. Prior to that he worked for 24 years with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This is his first bid for elected office.

Highlights of Magee’s tenure with the DEA include serving as backup supervisor for the Pablo Escobar investigation in Bogotá, Colombia, and working as DEA Unit Chief in Washington, D.C. He was hired to lead UM public safety operations in 2008 and resigned in 2011 following a 12-month sick leave. He then operated a sports memorabilia and magic shop in downtown Ann Arbor, and worked as a criminal justice consultant.

He serves on the board of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival and is founder of the Ken Magee Foundation for Cops, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Magee grew up in Ann Arbor and graduated from Michigan State University. He is co-author of “The Little Brown Jug,” a history of the Michigan-Minnesota football rivalry, and of "The Game: The Michigan-Ohio State Rivalry." He has a daughter and lives in Ann Arbor.

Click here for a description of Washtenaw County public offices and links to other candidate profiles.

Ken Magee: In The News

Washtenaw County sheriff Jerry Clayton denies rumors about retirement – MLive, Oct. 24, 2016

Washtenaw sheriff candidates share views on challenges facing countyMLive, Oct. 11, 2016

League of Women Voters candidate forum (video) – Community Television Network, Oct. 10, 2016

Soapbox Summer (audio and transcript) – WEMU, July 21, 2016

Response to Arts Alliance questionnaire (see pages 69-70)

Inside Look at Towsley Family Museum, Home of Historic Michigan Memorabilia
Bleacher Report, May 20, 2015

'We Will Not Arrest Our Way Out of a Drug Problem' Former DEA Agent Tells Task ForceThe Saline Post, May 4, 2014

Ken Magee: A Former Cop Turned Magician (video) – EntreSlam, May 12, 2013

Magic and Memorabilia: Ken Magee’s new gigAnn Arbor Observer, October 2011

Former U-M police chief Ken Magee adds sports memorabilia to magic shop, Oct. 3, 2011

Settlement: U-M's police chief agreed in November to resign after 12-month sick, June 20, 2011

Magee's journey comes full circleMichigan Daily, Jan. 21, 2009

Retired DEA officer will head University of Michigan police departmentAnn Arbor News, Nov. 6, 2008

Killing Pablo (transcript of CNN broadcast) – CNN, Nov. 12, 2000