Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini was carrying a bouquet of roses and a big campaign sign as he came out of Rancho Grande Restaurant in Gardnerville after his commanding victory on Tuesday night.
Pierini, 62, defeated challenger Dave Brady, 11,677 votes to 5,266, less than half a percent short of his 69.3 percent primary victory over both Brady and Michael Gyll.
“We spent eight months working hard, and we received all this support,” he said. “It’s a very humble feeling. I really am blessed.”
Pierini said he felt the message from the community was that he and the sheriff’s office are doing a great job.
“We have a professional law enforcement agency and people want us to continue that over the next four years,” he said.
Pierini said he went door-to-door during the campaign, attending every social and political event he could.
“I took this campaign extremely seriously,” he said. “We started before the primary, we made a plan, and we didn’t stop for eight months. We joked (after the election) we’ll get up and wonder what three things we have to be at this week.”
This is Pierini’s fifth term in office since his appointment to replace Sheriff Jerry Maple in 1997. By the end of his term on Dec. 31, 2018, he will have spent 21 years as sheriff and 45 years in law enforcement.
Brady said he was disappointed with the numbers, but hasn’t given up on the idea of being sheriff.
“I’m not throwing out my yard signs, trust me,” he said.
Brady said he knew he had an uphill climb against Pierini, but that he felt it was important to continue his narrative.
“We didn’t get across our message that our public safety dollars are not being spent wisely, and that the sheriff’s office needs new leadership with a fresh perspective,” he said.
Brady said Douglas County is not really a safe community.
“I don’t think we’re really feeling safe, as we are being lucky,” he said. “It is a matter of time before voters will recognize we do need a change in leadership. That’s what I’m hoping for. We’re certainly not going away.”
According to the Douglas County Clerk-Treasurer’s Office, 61.93 percent of the county electorate cast a ballot in this general election. GOP candidates fared well in this county that has a 2-1 Republican majority.
The sheriff’s race was the only countywide race with county commissioners and school board trustees running without opponents for the first time in history.