Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis has officially launched his campaign to run for re-election in the 2020 race.

Nienhuis announced his bid Thursday evening at https://www.sheriffnienhuis.com for a third term as Hernando county’s top law enforcement officer.

The re-election announcement on his official campaign website reads, “I have been the Sheriff of Hernando County for well over 8 years. My family and I have been very humbled by the overwhelming public support we’ve received from every corner of the county. I have said from the beginning that, as long as the citizens and members of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office were pleased with my service – and expressed their support, I would be honored to run for re-election in 2020. I have listened to them and, with my family, prayerfully considered this decision. We are confident that this is the right decision – to continue on this path of service to the citizens of Hernando County as their Sheriff. My family and I have grown to love Hernando County and we are excited about the opportunities the next term will bring.

My command staff and I have made great strides toward providing even better service than the citizens had been accustomed to, all at a reduced cost to taxpayers. We, in fact, save taxpayers millions and millions every year for law enforcement and detention services (compared to the average county, according to a 2014 study by the Florida Association of Counties). We did this through the use of technology and volunteers. We still, however, have unfinished work in this area. I am looking forward to the next four years, so we can see this vision through to even greater results.”

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office has always been a well respected agency. That being said, the crime rate in 2018 (unincorporated Hernando County) 2018 was about 50% (yes 50%!!) lower than in 2010. The percentage of those crimes solved/cleared increased by about 48% (yes, almost a 50% increase in clearances!) from 2010 to 2018.”

As the economy improves and new construction returns to Hernando County, the agency will be faced with more challenges in the next 5 years than it has in the last decade. I look forward to leading my team during these next five years as we become even more efficient in making Hernando County a place that people want to live, work, play, raise a family and start a business. I hope I can count on your support.”


Sheriff Al Nienhuis began his full time law enforcement career in 1989 as a Special Agent in the Clearwater District with the State of Florida, Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (AB&T). During his tenure in Clearwater, Sheriff Nienhuis was promoted to sergeant. About two years after making sergeant, he was promoted to lieutenant (the district commander) in Sarasota. After only a year and a half in Sarasota, he was promoted to captain in charge of the Fort Myers District. He spent three years in Fort Myers before leaving in January 2001 to serve as the Second-in-command of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, where he served for 10 years.

  • Special agent, rising through the ranks to captain, Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, State of Florida, 1989-2001
  • Undersheriff, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, 2001-2010
  • Appointed Sheriff of Hernando County, January 2011
  • Elected Sheriff of Hernando County, 2012
  • Re-elected 2016.

In December 2010, he was appointed as Hernando County Sheriff by the Governor (he took office on January 1, 2011). He was elected in 2012 and ran unopposed in 2016.

Sheriff Nienhuis holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of South Florida, and also completed his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at USF in the spring 2011. His concentrations for his MBA were Management Information Systems and Business Management.

Sheriff Nienhuis also has over 1500 hours of advanced and specialized training, including being a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy (Class 197) in Quantico, VA and the National Sheriffs Institute (Colorado).

Sheriff Al Nienhuis also is (and has been) actively involved in the community and has served or currently serves on:

Past Professional and Community Affiliations included:

  • Hernando County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
  • Florida Sheriff’s Ranches Enterprises Board of Directors (Past Chair)
  • Dawn Center Board of Directors (Past Chair)
  • Arc Nature Coast Board of Directors
  • Youth and Family Alternatives Board of Directors
  • The FBI National Academy Associates
  • The Advisory Board for the Pasco County Salvation Army
  • Florida Sheriff’s Association Management Training Committee
  • Member of the Circuit 6 Juvenile Justice Board
  • Chairman of the Pasco Sheriff’s Charities, Inc.
  • Pasco Hernando Community College Criminal Justice Technical Advisory Committee