There is a new sheriff in Whitley County.
Voters turned out in force for challenger and former Chief Deputy Todd Shelley who defeated two-term incumbent Colan Harrell in the Republic Primary by more than 3,200 votes, 5,295 to 2,035
With no democrat in the race, Shelley will take office January 1.
“I am blessed beyond measure and humbled by the support of the fine people of Whitley County,” Shelley said.
Shelley gave credit to Harrell and the third candidate, Michael Taylor for running a clean race.
“They are both good men,” Shelley said.
Shelley credited Jesus Christ, his wife, Michelle, and children.
“I can never thank them enough,” Shelley said.
Shelley said his goals as sheriff include: getting local state and federal law enforcement to work together and share information to better serve and protect the people of Whitley County.
“Four or five minds focusing on a problem is better than just one,” Shelley said.
Shelley said in an era when school safety is becoming more of an issue, he will be working with other law enforcement and the local boards of education to be better prepared to respond should a situation arise and to have the sheriff’s department ready to assist Corbin or Williamsburg Police.
“It is all about protecting the children,” Shelley said.
Harrell offered congratulations to Shelley and said he is willing to help in any way he can.
Harrell who has been in law enforcement for 48 years, including stints with the Kentucky State Police and as sheriff, said this is likely the end of his career.
“I’m going to call it retirement,” Harrell said noting that he would be catching up on his fishing and spending more time with his family.
“It has been a good ride,” Harrell said.