GFC SHERIFF: Rost easily makes Nov. ballot; Flannery nips Hutton for 2ndGrand Forks County voters who turned out for Tuesday’s primary election set up a Nov. 2 duel between sheriff candidates Bob Rost and Mike Flannery, two well-known lawmen who have worked in the area for decades.
Grand Forks County voters who turned out for Tuesday’s primary election set up a Nov. 2 duel between sheriff candidates Bob Rost and Mike Flannery, two well-known lawmen who have worked in the area for decades.
Rost, the sheriff department’s chief deputy, resoundingly outgunned all competitors, grabbing 41.8 percent of the vote in a six-candidate field, according to unofficial results from the county.
Flannery, a detective with the Grand Forks Police Department, got 19 percent of the vote, narrowly beating candidate Chris Hutton, a sheriff’s deputy, by 55 votes, the results showed.
Hutton said he’ll seek a recount of the vote: “You’re pretty positive I’m looking into it.”
Hutton, a 35-year-old who has been with the sheriff’s department since 1997, said the close margin with Flannery, who has 37 years in law enforcement, is a message from the people.
“That tells you that the people still want me. It’s just matter of time,” said Hutton, who added that he plans to run for sheriff the next chance he gets.
Rost said he didn’t know exactly what to expect going into Tuesday’s election.
“I thought it was going to be Flannery or Hutton, and it was close,” said Rost, who now plans on taking a break from campaigning. “You get kind of hyped up when you go through something like this.”
Rost, 61, of Grand Forks, said the endorsement he received from Dan Hill, the current sheriff, and other community leaders gave him a boost at the polls. Also helping his cause: “The mere fact that I’ve been here for 31 years and I’ve had so much contact with people throughout the community.”
Flannery, 61, of Grand Forks, said he would have liked a higher percentage of the vote but noted that voter turnout was light Tuesday.
“Sure I would have liked to have done better, but I’m glad I got through the primary,” he said.
Flannery, who ran for sheriff in 2006, said he hopes to pick up votes from residents who didn’t take part in the primary and from those who cast votes for disqualified candidates.
Along with Hutton, Mike Lee, Ann Black and Roland Riemers were eliminated from the hunt for the sheriff’s star, according to the results.
Hutton captured 18.2 percent of the vote, edging Lee, a corporal in the sheriff’s department who received 16 percent. Black, a former part-time deputy, took 3.4 percent of the vote, while Riemers, a self-described gadfly without law-enforcement experience, bagged 1.5 percent.
A total of 6,680 votes were cast, including 11 write-in ballots.
The winner of the general election will replace Hill, who is retiring after serving for 20 years.
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