His name was written on every index card in the ballot box Thursday night at the Church of the Nazarene, Seventh and Elm streets, where the Franklin County Republican Central Committee gathered to pick the county’s next sheriff.
It was Richards’ second political victory of the week. Ottawa voters on Tuesday elected him to a second, two-year term on the Ottawa City Commission.
Richards joked with the voting delegates and audience members that it was probably the first time in modern memory that a person had been “elected twice in the same week.”
If Gov. Sam Brownback accepts the central committee’s nomination and appoints Richards as Franklin County’s next sheriff, the veteran law enforcement officer said he would resign his seat on the city commission.
“If I’m appointed sheriff, I will get with [City Attorney] Bob Bezek and talk about what the procedure would be for resigning,” Richards said after Thursday night’s convention.
Bezek said Friday that Richards would need to submit a resignation letter.
Once the city commission receives Richards’ resignation letter, the remaining commissioners would have 45 days to appoint a successor, Bezek said, citing a city ordinance that is based on state statute. The appointee would serve Richards’ two-year term until the next general election.
The city commission would advertise the opening and accept applicants from Ottawa residents interested in serving on the commission. The applicants would go through an interview process, and the commission would then appoint Richards’ successor, Bezek said.
Applicants must reside within the city limits to be eligible for the at-large commission seat.