After defeating his former co-worker 2-to-1 in the May 23 Democratic primary, Sharp County Sheriff Dale Weaver is preparing for another two years in office.
Weaver of Evening Shade defeated challenger Kevin Burton by a vote of 2,484 (67.6 percent) to 1,193 (32.4 percent).
Burton, juvenile intake officer for Sharp County, has 17 years in law enforcement in Sharp County having served as jailer deputy sheriff, and chief deputy sheriff before taking his current position. He also served three years overseas with the U.S. Army.
Burton won his home precinct of Highland by nine votes, by 11 votes in the Jackson precinct, by one vote in the Ozark precinct and by six votes in the South Union precinct.
Those four precincts weren't enough to pull out a win. Of the 25 precincts, Weaver won 21 and the early and absentee vote as well. His biggest win was in the Cave City precinct where he won by a vote of 452 (89 percent) to 56 (11 percent), even larger than his win in his home precinct of Piney Fork where he received 159 (81 percent) votes while Burton received 37 (19 percent).
Weaver, former drug task force administrator, won the support of the county in 2002 when he ran against Michael Steele. Weaver defeated Steele by capturing 72 percent of the vote from his fellow employee with the drug task force.
Weaver said since he took office in 2003 he has made some positive changes to the office including assigning a deputy to serve warrants. The jail has also been expanded, with an eight-bed addition that has saved the county approximately $75,000 a year in housing fees and allowing the small jail to house male and female inmates at the same time.
Weaver's primary focus is on methamphetamine in the county. Abuse of meth can lead to addicts losing their families, jobs and homes and causing some to become criminals to support their habit, he said.
To prevent more from giving in to addiction, Weaver said it is important to reach children at an early age through drug awareness programs in the grade schools.
Ash Flat Police Chief Mike Zeiger and Israel Hester will have a runnoff June 13 to determine the next District 1 constable. Zeiger received 178 votes while Israel Hester received 113, Jim Gould received 25, Don Leonard received 50 and Kenny Ladd received 88. All men are from Hardy except Ladd who is from Williford.
In District 3 Mary L. Wanley will take the title of District 3 constable after defeating incumbent Larry Cross by a vote of 175 to 123. Both are from Cherokee Village.
In District 4 Michael R. Orosz of Cherokee Village defeated Jim Estes of Ash Flat by a vote of 353 to 189.
Clint Madison will be the next District 6 constable after defeating Robert McKnight and David Bryan Coble. Madison received 230 votes, McKnight received 57 votes and Coble received 50 votes. All are from Williford.
In the race for Democratic committeeman for the Upper North Township, James Frank Bettis pulled out a win against Boyd Estes. Bettis received 33 votes to Estes' 25 votes.
The next contested races will be during the general election. While there will be a race for Sharp County judge between Democrat Larry Brown and independent Wayne Long, another contested race exists in the office of county coroner. Doug Wortham of Cherokee Village has filed as an independent candidate for coroner against Democratic incumbent Randy McComas.
Uncontested offices include County and Circuit Clerk Tommy Estes, County Tax Assessor Kathy Nix, County Tax Collector Charlotte Ratliff, County Treasurer Wanda Girtman and County Surveyor Ramona Lindley.
District 1 JP Roger Stark, District 3 JP Greg Prenger, District 4 JP Dennis Burton, District 5 JP Ray Martin, District 6 JP Bartus Allen, District 7 JP Arnold Kunkel, District 8 JP Jeral Hastings and District 9 JP Buell Wilkes, all Democrats, were uncontested in the primary. So far District 2 JP Darrell Kehrli, an idependent, is also uncontested.
District 2 Constable Steve A. Rose of Cherokee Village and District 7 Constable Jeff Adam of Cave City were uncontested.
The deadline for write-in candidates for the general election is Aug. 9, said Sharp County Clerk Tommy Estes. Candidates who sought another county or district office in the primary are ineligible, he said.