Hickox, Trotter win key county offices

Sheriff-elect Richard Hickox, right, talks to supporters while waiting for election results.

Sheriff-elect Richard Hickox, right, talks to supporters while waiting for election results.

A 20-year veteran of the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office defeated Ray East to become the county’s top law enforcement officer beginning in January.

Richard Hickox, who decided to run for the office after Sheriff Ben Trotter filed for Justice of the Peace, won the race 5,007 votes to 4,138. He has been a captain for more than three years, graduated from the Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Academy with honors and began working in the detention section of CCSO in 1999. He has worked both the streets in patrol and in investigations dealing with homicide, sex assault and burglary cases. By working in a small agency, Hickox said deputies wear multiple hats at any given time.

East, who works for the Nevada Department of Corrections and holds numerous POST certificates, also ran for sheriff in 2010. Vote totals were related Tuesday night at the Churchill County’s Commission Chambers. He has lived in Fallon for the past 17 years and has been in law enforcement for 26 years.

Hickox said at the commission chambers his key to the race was direct.

“Honesty. I let people know what I did for the community and what it has done for me,” he said.

Hickox said he is humbled by the support he received. He said running for a public office is a learning experience.

“I am humbled by the support from the community,” he said.

Hickox said he’s come to grips of what needs to be done on the first day, which begins in early January. The biggest issue looking for Hickox is submitting the department’s budget within a week after he takes the oath of office.

“I’ll have to do some work ahead of time,” he said. “My plan is to be moving forward.”

Stuart Richardson, chairman of the Churchill County Republican Central Committee, said East was an excellent candidate, and Hickox had “a lot of experience.”

“He really knows the department well,” Richardson said. “Ray East knocked on a lot of doors. I am happy to see we had two good candidates.”

Since the race for the four-year office is nonpartisan, Richardson said the CCRCC does not endorse candidates or issues.

A retired sheriff’s captain and the current Churchill County sheriff went head-to-head in this year’s New River Township’s Justice of the Peace race.

In results that caught many people by surprise at the Churchill County’s Commission Chambers where vote totals were being released Tuesday night, Sheriff Ben Trotter, who decided not to seek re-election to a third term, defeated incumbent Mike Richards, 5,946 to 3,307.

Richards was first elected in 2006 and successfully ran for a second term in 2012. The nonpartisan position is a for a term of six years compared to most county and statewide offices that have four-year terms.

Trotter, who attended the election results at the commission chambers, said he wasn’t surprised about the final vote tally.

“It’s where I was thinking it would be just from going to the houses I knocked,” he said after the vote results had been released.

Trotter had knocked on most residents’ doors in 2010 and 2014 and now 2018.

“I’m just so grateful the community knows what we (CCSO) accomplished during the last eight years,” he said.

“We noticed how much Ben was campaigning and how many homes’ doors he was knocking on,” Richardson said.

Nyla Howell, chair of the Churchill County Democrats, also said the organization stays out of the nonpartisan races and doesn’t endorse candidates or promote issues.

According to Richardson, he felt Trotter was making more of an impression with the general population, which would explain the 2,639 vote differential.

During his tenure, Richards presided over more than 70,000 cases. He is a graduate of the National Judicial College in Reno and has taken 440 hours of continuing judicial education courses. Richards said at Candidates Night in October he makes a point to be fair and impartial as a judge and also refers himself as ethical and thorough in his role and having integrity and honor.

“I’d like to thank my family, my friends and all of the citizens of Fallon who have supported me over the years,” Richards said Tuesday in a statement to the LVN. “Working for the people of Churchill County for the past 42 years has been an honor and a privilege. I am humbled to have been afforded that opportunity. I look forward to the next chapter in my life and wish my successor the best of luck.”

When Trotter takes office in January, he said the first thing he wants to do is fix the schedule to make it work better for the community and also use the video arrangement system, which, he says, will increase the safety of deputies and the community. Trotter said he will also be planning his schedule to take judicial classes.

Trotter thanked his family for their sacrifices they made in this campaign.

Newcomers Amber Getto and Fred Buckmaster pulled in the most votes for the Churchill County School Board. Eight candidates were vying for four positions in the nonpartisan race.

Getto received 5,111 votes, and Buckmaster had 4,859. Incumbents Carmen Schank and Matt Hyde finished third and fourth. Schank pulled in 4,585 votes, and Hyde received 4,239.

Clay Hendrix, the current school-board president, finished sixth with 3,310 votes. Others in the race were Tedd McDonald (3,966), Deby Smotherman (2,915) and Patty Julian (2,682).

Christy Lattin led the pack for the nonpartisan Mosquito, Vector and Noxious Abatement Board. Lattin won her third term with 6,040 votes. Michael Spencer finished second with 3,874 votes, and Thomas Hutchings with 4,504 votes.


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