Sheriff Gary Toelke coasted to an easy victory Tuesday and will begin his seventh term in the office next year.
The incumbent sheriff defeated challenger Gary Getman, St. Clair, by a landslide to win the Republican nomination in the primary election.
Toelke received 12,140 votes, or 90 percent of the 13,484 votes cast for the office. A total of 1,344 voters cast ballots for Getman. Getman has challenged Toelke in previous elections but this is the first time he ran as a Republican.
Toelke, 61, does not have a Democratic opponent in the November general election.
“It’s really humbling to receive that kind of support,” Toelke said of the 90 percent majority.
“The public’s always supported our office. When we’ve needed anything they’ve been behind us,” he commented. “We appreciate that.
“I want to thank all the people for their continued support. We’ll continue to do the best job we can,” Toelke said.
He will be completing his 24th year as sheriff at the end of this year.
The Union native has been with the sheriff’s office since 1975. He was appointed sheriff in November 1988 after he won his first election and former sheriff Paul Bruns retired. He has faced opponents in all but the last election four years ago.
“I like my job. I have great people that work with me. I still enjoy coming to work every day. I’d like to continue as sheriff,” Toelke told The Missourian in an interview earlier this month.
Toelke said he doesn’t plan on making any major changes in the operation of the sheriff’s office.