JUNEAU | Dale Schmidt coasted to a win in the Dodge County sheriff’s race Tuesday after a write-in challenge from Sheriff Pat Ninmann fell well short.
Schmidt was the lone name on the ballot after he won a Republican primary against Ninmann in August. Schmidt received 4,613 votes in the primary, while Ninmann received 4,303.
In the election Tuesday, Schmidt received 25,819 votes. It was less clear how many write-in votes Ninmann had received. There were 7,073 write-in votes cast, but as of midnight it was not known how many of those votes were for Ninmann.
Attempts were unsuccessful Tuesday night to reach Ninmann, who announced in mid-October that she would run a write-in campaign.
A race that had been hotly contested in the primary became even more heated with the write-in challenge. In the end, Ninmann could not overcome the challenge of running as a write-in.
“I am proud and honored that the citizens of Dodge County have elected me your sheriff,” Schmidt said at his victory party.
“There is much work we need to do, I will look to all of you to help implement our plans,” Schmidt said.
“I will start with bringing leadership to the department so that we can get back to the business of public safety,” he said.
“We will begin attacking our opioid problem that too many of our family members, friends, and neighbors have been affected by. I say enough is enough.
“Finally we will get to work on getting your Sheriff’s Department more involved with the community through the implementation of a community relations team.
Schmidt has been a law enforcement officer for 14 years. He was promoted to patrol sergeant in the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office in 2012. He created Dodge County Explorers in 2008 and has been a member of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Explorer Advisor Associate since 2008 and a board member for four years. He is an International Association of Chiefs of Police Certified Drug Recognition Expert. He is a standardized field sobriety test instructor and an Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement instructor. He was a member of the Dodge County Drug Interdiction Team until shortly after his promotion to sergeant.
Schmidt will take office on Jan. 5.