Incumbent Sheriff Grinstead keeps his job
“Well honey, we don’t have to move.”
That, from Moffat County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead to his daughter, Kelsey, once news of the incumbent sheriff’s victory in Tuesday’s general election reached the Shadow Mountain Club House, where supporters had gathered.
Grinstead, who has said this campaign would be his last, win or lose, defeated Democratic rival Don Kroese by a margin of 2,501 votes to 2,044.
Kroese fared better in his last match-up against Grinstead, losing out to the Republican by 135 votes after being placed on the ballot as a write-in candidate.
In a night of grim national and statewide results for Democrats, the party’s Moffat County chairman said the local sheriff’s race was expected to be a closer finish.
“I don’t know what happened, but it wasn’t that far off either,” said Chairman Tim Christensen. Attempts to reach Kroese for comment Tuesday night were unsuccessful.
Grinstead, 40, said he expected to win by a larger margin than the first Kroese showdown.
“I pretty much felt I had the support of the community, and I’m glad to see the community likes the programs that we’re doing,”
Grinstead and his supporters spent much of the campaign focusing on law enforcement credentials, while consistently pointing to the hours of training Kroese would have had to complete if elected.
Grinstead suggested the vote reflects similar themes.
“I think it speaks loudly that the people want a professional at the sheriff’s office,” he said. “My job is not any different than a chief of police, and you just need that law enforcement background to be sheriff.”
Grinstead praised Kroese and his campaign for a local race run on issues, as opposed to the nastiness seen and heard elsewhere.
“You can’t control everybody on the street, but his committee did a good job of keeping it clean,” Grinstead said.
Tuesday’s candidate becomes Wednesday’s sheriff again, with a scheduled staff meeting.
Continued work of the department’s strategic plan for the coming years is among this year’s top remaining priorities, he said.
“Time to start cracking the whip again.”
(Daily Press writer David Pressgrove contributed to this report.)
Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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