from the Campaign


[Sentinel News Letter to the Editor] John Wills

It is our job as Voters to interview candidates and select the candidate that offers the best skills to be our legislator.

Ed Gallrein is out front here for me.

I first meet Ed when Bill Gallrein introduced us at farm.

Ed had just moved here to be near family after retiring from the Navy.

I found Ed easy to talk to, easy to get to know, easy to respect. Big for me he listens. As I have gotten to know Ed better the respect has grown.

With Ed the work ethic is there. The conservative Christian values are there. The strong Family values are there. The ability to do this job is there.

Ed’s ability to see a problem and the desire and ability to find a solution are there.

Do your job as a voter, get to know Ed. When you do you will vote to elect Ed Gallrein to be your next State Senator.

Folks, who we elect here has never been more important. Our vote, above all else, has to be about putting the best, the strongest, and the most able in office.

That’s why my vote will be to elect Ed Gallrein.

Join me. Go vote for Ed Gallrein.

John Wills

Shelbyville KY

Kentucky Chamber PAC Endorses Ed Gallrein in the 2024 Primary Election for Senate District 7

FRANKFORT, Ky—The Kentucky Chamber Political Action Committee (PAC) has announced the endorsement of Ed Gallrein in the 2024 Primary Election for Senate District 7 representing Anderson, Henry, Jefferson and Shelby County.

Candidates selected by the Kentucky Chamber PAC for endorsement have demonstrated their dedication to making Kentucky more competitive, which will lead to job growth, economic development, and a higher quality of life for the citizens of their districts and the Commonwealth.

Endorsements are based on the candidate’s answers to the Kentucky Chamber PAC’s 2024 Legislative Candidate Survey, understanding of business issues, and past voting records.

Only candidates running for the state legislature who submitted answers to the Kentucky Chamber PAC’s 2024 Legislative Candidate Survey and have a contested primary race were considered for endorsement. This endorsement is for the Primary Election taking place on May 21, 2024. General Election endorsements will take place in the Fall.

The Kentucky Chamber PAC is the independent political arm of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the largest broad-based business organization in Kentucky.


[Sentinel News Letter to the Editor] Bobby Waits

I’m a lifelong Shelby County resident, a former Deputy Sheriff and Jailer who served a career in law enforcement leadership positions. I am writing to endorse Ed Gallrein as the Republican candidate for Kentucky State Senate District 7. Based on my experience I can confidently state that Ed Gallrein is the best choice in this Senate race to effectively represent us in Frankfort.

I was born and raised here in Shelby County where I served for seven years as a Shelby County Deputy Sheriff and 20 years as the Jailer. I also served as the President of the Kentucky Jailers Association (KJA) multiple times.

In my career, I had to carefully navigate challenges and issues that touch multiple groups, from law enforcement and the judicial system to government regulations and bureaucrats. Armed with that experience and knowing Ed’s qualifications and his family well, I can state with full confidence that he is the only candidate in this race with the proven leadership experience and qualifications to represent us. Ed will effectively serve our County and this District as a State Senator at the intersection of state government, federal government, career bureaucrats, and special interests.

Ed has demonstrated the skills necessary to build relationships and develop solutions to keep our communities prospering and safe. He has also demonstrated the courage to stand up to government wrongdoing including politicians and special interests that don’t have “We the People’s” welfare in mind.

I urge all Republican voters in Anderson, Henry, Jefferson (eastern part), and Shelby Counties to support Ed Gallrein on Tuesday, May 21. Ed is the leader we need to represent us effectively and faithfully in Frankfort. Join with me to elect a true proven leader and authentic Champion for the hard-working people of Senate District 7.


Bobby Waits
Shelby County Native, Jailer and Sheriff (Retired), Local Farmer

[Sentinel News Letter to the Editor] Joseph D. Becker

It is my distinct pleasure to offer my strongest endorsement for a fellow career Special Operations Officer who I know well from decades of service together: Captain Edward (Ed) G. Gallrein III, US Navy/SEAL (Ret.), a candidate for Kentucky’s 7th Senate District.

I am a retired career active-duty US Air Force Special Operations helicopter pilot with 27 years of active-duty service. My assignments include numerous leadership positions in Special Operations Aviation Units and on Joint Special Operations staffs around the globe, culminating as Chief of Staff for the Joint Special Operations Command. I have supported, served with and under, and commanded SEAL Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers throughout my career.

I first served with Ed as a Navy Lieutenant SEAL Officer in 1988 shortly after he had completed an arduous advanced SEAL skills training and selection program for assignment to the SEAL Special Mission Unit at which he was assigned to a SEAL Officer leadership position; I was the Air Force liaison officer to that unit and worked closely with him in the planning for and conduct of complex special operations missions all over the world. Afterwards, I served with him numerous times all over the globe throughout the remainder of our careers including combat in several conflicts. We were also War College classmates where he was at the top of our class of over 240 Senior Military officers as a Distinguished Graduate with Honors.

Ed always distinguished himself as a courageous SEAL and leader under pressure – never shying away from making tough calls, including in combat. Additionally, I recall Ed routinely volunteering for and accepting the most arduous assignments and back-to-back deployments where he excelled in the most challenging conditions. Ed also distinguished himself in retirement as a Senior Advisor for Special Operations where he expertly applied his experience and extensive advanced education and stood out among his peers.

Ed is one of the most principled and selfless servant-leaders that I have ever met. He has demonstrated the ability to lead and serve and is certain to represent his Senate District with distinction: I ask you to stand with me for Ed for State Senate.

Joseph D. Becker
Colonel (Ret), USAF

[Sentinel News] Local Sheriff Endorses Ed Gallrein

from Sentinel News

I am writing to express my strongest endorsement for Ed Gallrein as the Republican candidate for Kentucky State Senate in District 7. As a lifelong Shelby County resident, and as the former Sheriff with over 33 years of service to our community in law enforcement leadership positions, and having familiarity with the other candidates, I can state authoritatively that Ed Gallrein is undoubtedly the right and only choice in this race to effectively represent us, our values and effectively champion the issues that matter most to our County and district.

I grew up here in Shelby County on our family farm. I served 13 years as Chief Deputy Sheriff of Shelby County, and I was elected four times (serving 16 years) as the Sheriff of Shelby County. As a result of my many years of extensive law enforcement duties and activities throughout this part of Kentucky, I know this County and this district and its people well. I also know Ed and his family well, so I can state with 100% confidence that we are fortunate to have a candidate in this race with such an extraordinary and unmatched record of authentic and proven leadership and accomplishment from the farm to the battlefield and back to the farm to serve our County and this district.

Ed Gallrein’s impressive background as a 5thgeneration family farmer speaks for itself — as all in this area know that his family have demonstrated excellence in Agriculture for over 100 years. His remarkable career as an active duty Navy SEAL Officer and Army Ranger spans three decades and includes leading hundreds of SEALs and thousands of troops all over the world. He is a battle-tested leader who served at the highest levels of leadership that also included formulating foreign policy and national security strategy. Impressively, and evidence of his courage and dedication, Ed earned three Bronze Stars, the Army Combat Parachutist Badge with Bronze Star, as well as two Presidential Unit Citations (each comparable to a Navy Cross), among numerous other awards and decorations. Not only did Ed achieve excellence on the battlefield, but he also excelled in education, too, by earning an undergraduate degree in Agriculture, as well as graduate degrees in Agriculture, Financial Management, Military Intelligence, and National Security Strategic Studies (with honors). Note: A little known fact is that Ed is also a Business Executive Leadership Coach for an International Company based on his expertise, knowledge and understanding of business.

Ed has pledged to donate his entire Senate salary to charities in our communities and scholarships for our youth. This further exemplifies his dedication to giving back and investing in the future of our district through selfless service as his family is well known for here in the County.

This is the kind of authentic and genuine experienced leader with the skills and grit we need to navigate the complexities of Frankfort politics, build relationships, formulate solutions and advance legislation and policies that keep our communities in this County and district thriving and safe.

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly urge all voters in Anderson, Henry, Jefferson (eastern part), and Shelby Counties to support Ed Gallrein on Tuesday, May 21. With his proven leadership, dedication to serving our communities, and selfless commitment to public service, Ed is the candidate we need to represent us in Frankfort. Together, let’s elect a true and authentic leader and Champion for the hard-working people of Senate District 7.

Mike Armstrong
Shelby County native
Sheriff (retired) and local farmer

[Sentinel News Letter to the Editor] S.W. Davis Col USMC (Ret)

Writer endorses Gallrein

It is a distinguished pleasure to provide my strongest endorsement for Captain Ed Gallrein III, (USNavy/SEAL (Ret)), a Republican candidate for Kentucky’s 7th Senate District in the May 21, 2024 primary.

I am a retired United States Marine Corps Colonel with more than 30 years of active duty service to include combat tours in Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-91), Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan 2002 & East Africa (CJTF-HOA) 2003-2004) and Operation Iraq Freedom (2005-2006). An infantry officer by trade, I have spent many years in Marine Corps Reconnaissance Units and Special Operations assignments culminating as the Deputy Commander, Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC). Upon retiring I have continued to consult and train USSOCOM units to include all SEAL Teams on both coasts.

I met Ed Gallrein when I was assigned to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at Ft Bragg, now Ft Liberty, NC in 1997. We worked closely on a daily basis for the next 2 years providing liaison, planning and operational expertise to Combatant Commanders with particular focus on the US Central Command and the Middle East. This partnership has been continuous to the present day and includes work consulting in support of Special Operations across the globe. Of note, Ed Gallrein received an individual award for superior performance for work with Polish Special Forces, work that ensured enhanced capability in an Allied nation’s premier force.

Many things about Ed Gallrein stand out immediately. No. 1, he is a true force of nature. Ed is a natural leader and routinely demonstrates proactive leadership. He is highly intelligent and always takes the initiative in leading people, using a farmer’s no nonsense approach to problem solving and developing plans to achieve superior results. His endurance is legendary. He has always had more energy than five 5 year olds! He’s tough. You already know that given his biography and the endorsements from his fellow SEALs. But his greatest qualities are his values, his love of family and his yearning to return to his birthplace and farm in Kentucky. Ed is a solid, just, Christian man who knows what right is. He is decisive, courageous and relentless in pursuing justice, bringing resolution to difficult problems, and finding the way to a ‘win win’ solution that benefits all.

Don’t miss this opportunity to make Ed Gallrein your State Senate candidate. His proven record of accomplishment and selfless service speaks for itself. Please allow one of our best to continue to serve and represent you, the good people of the 7th Senate District, with distinction.

Semper Fidelis,

S.W. Davis
Col USMC (Ret)

Gallrein Ushers in 2024 with a Pledge for Kentucky Senate District 7

Shelbyville, KY — Edward (Ed) G. Gallrein III (a 5thgeneration farmer of the Gallrein Farms Family, a retired career U.S. Navy SEAL Senior Officer, and an Army Ranger) has kicked off the new year by releasing his initial campaign plan for the Kentucky State Senate and pledging his support for issues important to the people of District 7: Agriculture, Economic Development, Education, and Veterans Affairs and Public Safety. Gallrein has also pledged to donate his entire Senate salary once in office.

The announcement comes after Gallrein formally filed for Kentucky State Senate District 7 – visiting the Kentucky Capitol building between farmwork and campaigning. The primary election will be held on Tuesday, May 21, and will be open to all eligible Republican voters living in Anderson, Henry, Jefferson (eastern part), and Shelby Counties.

“I’m running for public office to continue to serve and be a Champion for the hard-working people of Senate District 7,” said Gallrein. “Supporting the values of the people and businesses in this District and being their voice in Frankfort is what my campaign slogan “We the People” means.” 

“I’m a battle-tested leader with a farmer’s frugality, work ethic and long-term perspective. I’m ready to build relationships, develop solutions, and fight for our values in Frankfort. I pledge to be a tireless Champion for our residents and prioritize issues based on their voices including Agriculture, our Economy, Education, Veterans and Public Safety. Additionally, I pledge to donate my Senate salary to charities in our communities and scholarships for our youth, for the benefit of the hardworking people of District 7 who I will selflessly serve.” 

Ed Gallrein’s Campaign Pledge:

Advocating for Agriculture, Economic Development, Education & Veterans.

AGRICULTURE: Ed Gallrein is committed to advocating for agri-business and farmers’ interests, drawing from his extensive agricultural roots as a 5th generation farmer. Armed with both a bachelor’s and graduate degree in agriculture, as well as many years of farming experience, Gallrein’s plan upon assuming office includes joining the Senate Agriculture Committee to amplify the voices of farmers and be an Ambassador for farmers to his fellow legislators. Gallrein is an active member of the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association, the Kentucky Soybean Association, and the Kentucky Corn Growers. He is also a member of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture AG Veterans Steering Committee to advocate and advance opportunities for military Veterans in agriculture. Gallrein has already begun developing relationships with legislators involved with this committee.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:  Ed Gallrein believes Senate District 7 deserves a fair share of state-appropriated funds and resources.  Gallrein intends to join the Economic Development Committee to utilize his background and experience in business (including being a certified business owner/operator coach and a farmer), along with his graduate degree in Financial Management to be an advocate for the district.  His objective is to foster a diverse and thriving economic ecosystem within the district, nurturing future growth, prosperity, and sustainability in a manner that ensures that development is in line with the wants, needs and best interests of the communities he represents.  He intends to build relationships with his fellow Senators and Representatives, and be an Ambassador for this district’s rural communities to all Kentucky legislators.  Gallrein has already begun developing relationships with legislators involved with this committee.

EDUCATION: Ed Gallrein recognizes the pivotal role that Education plays in shaping the district’s future. Gallrein’s own educational opportunities made a huge impact on his life trajectory, and his family includes multiple dedicated public schoolteachers. Once in office, Gallrein aims to join and contribute to the Education Committee using his Certified Post Secondary Instructor skills and experience as a senior faculty member at the Joint Special Operations University. As a father of four and a grandfather of four, Gallrein’s focus will be on ensuring that our children and grandchildren receive a top-tier education. Gallrein has already begun developing relationships with legislators involved with this committee.  Gallrein will prioritize fundamental skills such as reading, writing, and arithmetic – and put kids first, and advance vocational and technical education and training opportunities to provide tradesman and a skilled workforce to businesses and industries.

VETERANS, MILITARY AFFAIRS, & PUBLIC PROTECTION: Once again, Ed Gallrein intends to join the legislative committee that advances Veterans and Military Affairs issues as well as public safety and security. Gallrein is a supporter of patriots, law enforcement, and first responders who have served and who continue to serve our Nation, and, therefore, plans to be an Ambassador for them to his fellow legislators.  Gallrein is also a defender of the 2nd Amendment.  Additionally, he will apply his extensive military experience and Top Secret – Sensitive Compartmented Information security clearance to ensure our District and the Commonwealth remains safe and secure.

“With your support on May 21, it would be my honor to put my experience to work for you and your family,” said Gallrein. “I have worked for decades alongside government officials, across the entire inter-agency spectrum, from U.S. Military Leaders to Ambassadors. I know that my background will help me greatly to advance the priorities of District 7 residents. I believe I have the proven leadership experience that is needed to work through complex issues, build better relationships, and develop solutions in the Senate.

Gallrein’s decision to pursue office stems from his desire to continue his service to others—this time in his own community. He is a decorated combat veteran, passionate supporter of our Veterans, and a seasoned leader. During Gallrein’s nearly 40-year career in military leadership, management and advisory roles, he was responsible for leading multiple Navy SEAL Units and Joint Special Operations Task Forces and Units involved in sensitive high-stakes military activities and operations around the globe, including in high intensity combat missions.

Born and reared on a family farm in Kentucky, Gallrein has lived a full life as a passionate, Kentucky farmer. His family has distinguished themselves for over 100 years with excellence in agriculture, community, and public service. Gallrein himself continues this family’s farming legacy today as a 5th generation farmer; he manages a thriving farm and horse stable with his wife, Heather, in Shelby County.

Visit to learn more about Edward G. Gallrein III and for updates on his 2024 senate campaign.


Thirty-Fourth Anniversary of Operation JUST CAUSE

Thirty-four years ago, in the early morning hours of December 20, 1989, the United States initiated Operation JUST CAUSE in Panama. This mission was a response to repeated hostile acts against U.S. service members and citizens ordered by General Manuel Noriega – including the killing of a U.S. Army Officer, the wounding of another Officer, and the kidnapping of a Navy SEAL Officer and his wife who were being tortured.

At the time, Operation JUST CAUSE was the largest and most complex combat operation since the Vietnam War. The primary purpose of the Operation was to remove the de facto ruler of Panama, General Manuel Noriega, who had seized power illegally: He was also wanted by U.S. authorities for racketeering and drug trafficking (among other crimes). The Operation intended to reinstate the rightfully-elected President and to restore law and order. The Operation started with simultaneous assaults on numerous strategic targets throughout Panama, led by US Special Operations Forces.

I was a Navy Lieutenant/SEAL – and an Army Ranger – serving as a planner and leader during the Operation. This coincided with my assignment to my second SEAL Team (a Special Misson Unit – think SEAL All-Stars); one of my seven total SEAL Unit assignments during my active-duty career that spanned thirty years.

Note: The invasion was the first combat deployment for the Attack Helicopter-64, the HMMWV, and the F-117A “Nighthawk” aircraft.

United States invasion of Panama – Wikipedia

The Battle of Rio Hato Airfield took place as an opening action of the Operation. This battle was fought between a U.S. Special Operations Task Force and the Panama Defense Forces (PDF) on December 20and 21, 1989. The action saw a Special Operations Task Force, primarily over 1,000 soldiers from the 75th Ranger Regiment as well as Joint Special Operations forces attached (including me as the only SEAL), launch a surprise attack via a mass tactical parachute drop executed under the cover of darkness against the PDF forces at Rio Hato. Rio Hato was the PDF’s largest military base in the country, approximately seventy miles south of Panama City. The objectives were to:

  • Capture the PDF garrison (the largest and most formidable PDF unit, fully equipped with Soviet military equipment and weapons, and loyal to General Noriega) at the base to prevent them from reinforcing other PDF Units in Panama City. Successful reinforcement of their units could have been catastrophic for U.S. Forces,
  • Secure the airfield runway for possible follow-on operations elsewhere in Panama, and
  • Seize dictator Manuel Noriega’s beach house hide-out and collect evidence for his trial.

Battle of Rio Hato Airfiled

We loaded on 13 aircraft at Lawson Army Airfield (Ft. Benning, GA) at night in a cold December rain and sleet storm for the nearly six-hour flight to the drop zone. I was on the lead and 1st of 13 U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft that participated in the Operation (of which 11 took direct hits from PDF anti-aircraft fire). I exited the aircraft as the thirteenth man through the left door for a combat static line parachute jump with full combat equipment while being only 450 feet above ground level (for reference, typical jumps are at 1000 feet AGL). The aircraft had descended to 450 feet AGL to avoid the massive amounts of enemy anti-aircraft fire.

My mission was to lead the Rangers to conduct the seizure and search of General Noriega’s beach house – to capture him if he was present – and seize evidence for his trial in the United States. I had been a lead planner for this highly sensitive and classified target for over a year; I knew it better than anyone. I led the Rangers to seize, clear and search the massive beach house, one of Noriega’s hide-outs. After my mission was complete, I returned to Panama City to rejoin my Navy Special Mission Unit for follow-on operations that continued through January of 1990. Our Unit was to track down and neutralize Noriega’s network of thugs (and I missed another Christmas Holiday of many deployed away from my family).

I was awarded the Combat Parachutist Badge with Bronze Star – in fact I was the only Navy SEAL to ever earn the award according to military historians.   

Note: Against a Navy Doctor’s orders, I took off my walking cast and jumped into the Battle of Rio Hato with a broken right foot. I had sustained that injury from my last parachute jump in Ranger School just days earlier. In fairness, the Navy Doctor was earnestly concerned about my long-term welfare. The doctor knew that a permanent injury to my foot would have been a disqualifying factor for a SEAL and would have forced me out of the SEAL Teams and possibly the Navy, but I was determined to go regardless.

This was the first of my many involvements in operations that were at the intersection of US National Security and Foreign Policy. During three decades as a Navy SEAL Officer, I had the honor and privilege to lead hundreds of SEALs and Joint Special Operations troops in highly sensitive and classified activities and operations all over the world.

U.S. casualties at the Battle of Rio Hato included 4 killed and 44 wounded. Total U.S. casualties for the Operation were 23 killed and 325 wounded. 

Note: 4 SEALs were killed and 9 were wounded at Paitilla Airport – teammates of mine – one being Chief Petty Officer McFaul who has a Navy warship ship (USS Arleigh Burke Destroyer/DDG-74) named after him for his heroism.

Some 34 years ago after US forces completed Operation JUST CAUSE and were redeploying home, let us not forget the sacrifices made by those who served there, including some that gave their all and did not return. We must recognize the debt we owe them and their families that can never be repaid, only honored by sincere gestures of remembrance and the way we live our lives in service to others who serve.

As a result of this Operation, and upon my retirement, I felt a duty and obligation to continue to support our fallen and wounded warriors and their families. I assumed the roles and duties as the President of the Mid-South Chapter (which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas) of the Underwater Demolition Team-SEAL Association, the SEAL Team Alumni organization.

I also started an annual fellowship and fundraising event right here in Shelby County (the 9th annual event is this year) for the SEAL Veterans Foundation. The event supports SEAL widows, wounded, and surviving children with resources and programs – thanks to the generosity and patriotism of our local sponsors as well as volunteers. 

I gained the values of leadership by example, personal courage, thorough thoughtful analysis, strategic planning, and teamwork from this Operation. I practiced these attributes during the countless other operations and missions that followed during my three-decade career as an active-duty Navy SEAL Officer and leader. I intend to take these values to the State Senate and represent the people of this District.