Jeff Richards successfully fought off competitor Michael Reed, former Wellsville police chief, to retain his position as Franklin County Sheriff. Richards earned 71.6 percent of the vote to earn the Republican nomination and will run unopposed on the general election ballot.
Because Richards was appointed to the position in spring 2013, he had to win the vote of confidence by county voters to finish out the term originally won Jeff Curry, who resigned in April 2013. Richards will be up for re-election in 2016.
The sheriff said he was heartened by the sheer number and proportion of votes he received in Tuesday’s primary.
“I’m very humbled and pleased that [the sheriff’s office’s changes] seem to be well received and the public appreciate what we have done,” Richards said. “I’m honored and humbled by the results and I’ll keep working to be worthy of that.”
Although he lost the opportunity to unseat Richards, Reed said he thinks Richards will make a fine sheriff, but plans to run again in two years. He said he wished he would have earned more votes, but said the problem might have been in waiting too long to file for the election.
“I think I should have gotten out more and not waited until the last minute to decide run,” he said. “I plan on working where I am now and running again in two years.”
Richards was ready to get the election process out of the way and wants to re-focus on working for the county again, he said.