Hessler returned as Columbia County sheriff

Four years after defeating the incumbent, Walt Hessler held off a challenge from a deputy for his job.

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DAYTON -- Mark Franklin's bid for his boss's job was unsuccessful, with incumbent Columbia County Sheriff Walt Hessler netting 1,298 votes, or 64 percent to Franklin's 731, or 36 percent. Franklin gained about two percentage points over the primary election results. Franklin said he was disappointed in the outcome, but said his job may have contributed to the voting results. "When you're a police officer you don't make everyone happy," he said. Franklin also said rumors spread about him, and "recent things that have happened around here" may have contributed to his poor showing. "I hope that maybe some things that were brought to his (Hessler's) attention will be addressed and make things better for the community," Franklin said. Hessler said he plans to take at least one piece of advice from the campaign, to maintain open communication with the schools. "It was evident that we're lacking in that," he said. Hessler, who won his first term over the incumbent sheriff in a write-in campaign, said his win was because "the voting public thought I would do a better job, and they're happy with what I've done for the last four years." Carrie Chicken can be reached at cec@innw.net or 522-5289.

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