Barton County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Brian Bellendir will be the county’s next sheriff, after fending off incumbent sheriff and write-in challenger Greg Armstrong in Tuesday’s general election.
Bellendir defeated Armstrong and former BCSO officer Richard Unrein in the Aug. 6 Republican primary. However, with only two weeks before the general election, Armstrong launched his write-in bid.
In the vote Tuesday, Bellendir garnered 8,656 votes, or 77 percent of the 12,000 votes cast. There were 2,586 write-in ballots cast, or 23 percent, but the results from the County Election Office didn’t break them down as to individual candidates, so there may have been other names written in besides Armstrong’s.
“It looks like we wrapped it up pretty handily,” Bellendir said Tuesday night. His team took the write-in challenge seriously and re-mobilized the campaign.
“The voters spoke in the primary,” he said. And “they spoke resoundingly in the general election. I am pleased and honored the residents of Barton County chose me as their next sheriff.”
There are changes in the works, he said. He will announce his undersheriff this week, along with experienced officers he will move into “key positions.”
“Whatever the voters decided is what it will be,” Armstrong said Tuesday night. “They had an option.”
As for his future plans, he said he will leave the open for now.
Bellendir will assume the office in January.