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Burkett wins special election in Iron County Sheriff's race
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Burkett wins special election in Iron County Sheriff's race

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Burkett wins special election in Iron County Sheriff's race

Jeff Burkett

Former Iron County Sheriff Deputy Jeff Burkett was elected as the Republican candidate in the Iron County Sheriff race after a special Republican primary election was held in the county on Tuesday.

The new sheriff's primary election was held following an order by Circuit Judge Kelly Parker on Aug. 27 after the court heard evidence cited in a petition filed by Incumbent Iron County Sheriff Roger Medley contesting the results of the Aug. 4 primary election.

Burkett won the Aug. 4 primary election, but Medley challenged the result on grounds of irregularities and discrepancies found in the voting process.

In Tuesday's special election, Burkett came out the winner with 715 votes of the 1,717 votes cast, or 41.64%. Medley received 457 votes, or 26.62% of the votes.

Iron County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Matthiesen received 137 votes, Ben Starnes secured 318 votes, and 90 citizens voted for James Womble.

The names of all five original candidates were ordered to appear on Tuesday's ballot in the same manner as they initially appeared on the Aug. 4 election ballot.

Burkett will face Independent candidate Herschel Shipman in the Nov. 3 election.

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Burkett said he was humbled by all the support and the votes he received in Tuesday’s election.

“August 4th I won, and tonight we win again,” he said. “I want to thank everybody who came out and voted, the ones who supported me. I’m so grateful to the citizens of Iron County."

Burkett has spent the last six years serving Iron County as a full-time deputy sheriff.

Before working for Iron County, Burkett served as chief of the Annapolis Police Department from December 2015 to December 2017.

He began his career by working with displaced juveniles and juvenile offenders before earning his degree in criminal justice. After acquiring his degree, Burkett completed the Missouri Sheriffs Association Training Academy. The day his training was completed, he was hired to work full time with Iron County.

Burkett has earned a number of certifications with the Missouri Highway Patrol Training Academy. He said this has helped to expand his knowledge of law enforcement.

Burkett is certified in crime scene investigation, narcotics investigation, criminal investigation, tactical operations, first-line supervision, crisis intervention, and interview and interrogation. He has also earned two separate certifications through the ALICE training institute to become an active shooter training instructor.

Burkett said he shares many of the same concerns he hears expressed throughout the county and has seen, firsthand, the issues that are affecting the area, including drug use, theft, and burglary. He said during his campaign that he wants to address a problem with the lack of law enforcement presence in the entire county, citing issues of law enforcement not responding to calls, and plans to reduce the time to respond. He explained that administrative issues like this have caused problems in Iron County, have resulted in concerns from its citizens, and have drastically reduced the efficiency of the office.

Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at bradford@dailyjournalonline.com

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