BY ANGIE HAFLICH
A new perspective appears to have won out over experience in the Finney County attorney race.
With 27 of 32 precincts reporting as of press time Tuesday night, Susan Richmeier had received 4,187 of the votes, and write-in candidate Brian Sherwood received 2,174.
Richmeier said that after winning the primary election in August, with 1,528 votes, she knew it was just one step in the process.
"It was just going through that process all over again. I knew that when I won the primary, that's one step closer and I have to go through the general, and that's exactly what we did," she said.
In the primary, Sherwood ran against Richmeier and fellow assistant county attorney Tamara Hicks for the position being vacated by current County Attorney John Wheeler. Sherwood received 1,176 votes and Hicks received 520 in the primary.
Richmeier said that she didn't really know what to expect from Sherwood's write-in campaign.
"Write-in campaigns are rarely successful, but occasionally they do work. So, I didn't really know what would happen with this," she said.
Sherwood, who has worked at the county attorney's office for 21 years, announced his write-in campaign in September. He said that going into the evening, he believed his chances were good.
"I knew that there were a lot of people who had asked me to go forward, and there was a lot of support out there," he said. "And I understood that doing a write-in was going to be a challenge. It appears to be most likely a factor in this race, that I had to deal with the fact that it's a write-in vote. The name's not on the ballot."
Sherwood said, as of press time, it looked like Richmeier was the winner.
"And I congratulate her for her campaign and congratulate her for winning the county attorney's race," he said.
Richmeier said that her first order of business, once she officially takes over as county attorney in January, will be to begin the transition into the office.
"I think probably the thing we need to concentrate on now is trying to make as smooth a transition as possible. Just trying to alleviate any worries for the people that are currently in that office," she said. "Obviously, you never know what's going to happen when someone new takes office. I don't have any plans to cut staff. I think it's just a matter of figuring out what we need to do from here, and that will be a process of learning and working with John Wheeler in order to make that a smooth transition, and then we'll go from there."
Several other county officials ran unopposed for re-election. County Clerk Elsa Ulrich received 5,662 votes, County Treasurer Raylene Dick received 6,073 votes, Register of Deeds Ulrike E. Lappin received 5,836 votes, and Sheriff Kevin Bascue received 6,059 votes.