Jeff Richards is one signature away from being Franklin County’s next sheriff.

The Franklin County Republican Central Committee voted 33-0 Thursday night to nominate Richards, current Ottawa city commissioner and veteran law enforcement officer, as the county’s next sheriff during a special convention at the Church of the Nazarene, Seventh and Elm streets, Ottawa.

Sheriff-elect Richards would succeed Jeff Curry, who resigned Monday as sheriff in the wake of allegations of criminal wrongdoing. At Thursday night’s convention, Richards defeated Randy Allen, an Ottawa police captain, who was the only other nominee seeking the sheriff position.

The Republican committee will forward Richards’ nomination to Gov. Sam Brownback’s office. Committee members anticipated the governor would accept their nomination and appoint Richards as sheriff. The process should take about seven days, committee representatives said Thursday night.

Richards, an Overland Park Police detective, said he would resign as city commissioner once the governor approves his appointment.

“I believe our county, in general, and the sheriff’s department, specifically, needs a strong, ethical leader to move us through, and past, this current situation,” Richards told the committee members during his opening remarks. “I am that leader.”

After the vote, Richards said he was humbled to be chosen by the committee, and he looked forward to serving the people of Franklin County.

For more on this breaking news story, See The Herald’s Weekender edition.