BEND, OR -- The race for Deschutes County Sheriff was perhaps the most contentious local campaign. With most of the ballots now counted, voters chose to retain Sheriff Shane Nelson.
He was appointed to the post last year, after Larry Blanton retired and found his agency embroiled in a number of internal investigations and scandals. Sheriff Nelson says he plans to continue efforts to work with those who supported his challenger, Deputy Eric Kozowski. "It’s always everyone’s right to run for office. And, of course, to cast your vote, that’s how you have your voice heard. And, I’m just going to continue the meetings and being open to listening to my teammates’ ideas and information that they have; and I’m going to continue to do the right thing as I lead our great office."
With Nelson earning 55% to Kozowski's 45%, the vote was closer than many expected. "I am very pleased with the outcome of the election," Nelson tells KBND News. "And, I’m so thankful for the support of the citizens I work for. It was a long road during the election, but the service the Sheriff’s office provided never wavered." He adds, "I am humbled and honored. And, I will tell you, it’s the great people I work with and their attention to the fact that we provide the very best service to the citizens we serve; and they establish the reputation of our office. And, I am just so appreciative of my teammates and my family and my campaign committee, and we’re going to continue to charge forward and keep doing great things."
This was Nelson’s first campaign for public office.