Spoden keeps sheriff's seat
Rock County Sheriff
Robert D. Spoden 32,802
Gary C. Keller 18,667
JANESVILLE Rock County Sheriff Bob Spoden said Tuesday he would fight the heroin trade, protect the public and curb underage drinking in his next term.
Democratic incumbent Spoden, 47, of 227 Jefferson Ave., Janesville, defeated Republican challenger Gary C. Keller, 65, of 10520 W. County A, Evansville.
Spoden was first elected sheriff in 2006. Keller, a former Brodhead police officer, ran as an independent in 2006.
"I'm very humbled, and I'm very pleased with the voters' trust with what we're doing," Spoden said. "It really does speak to the men and women of the sheriff's office. They are true professionals. I'm just honored to serve with them."
Spoden said he would continue focusing on jail alternative programs such as electronic monitoring. He also wants to add programs to help people with mental health issues. He added that many inmates need mental health care and not jail time.
"What we want to do is start looking at alternatives for individuals who have mental health issues," Spoden said. "I think there has been a blind eye to some of that."
Talking to the community about underage drinking also will be a priority, Spoden said.
Continuing to provide the same level of service to the public without large budget increases will be a challenge, Spoden said. Grant money and efficiency will be important.
"We're going to have to do it with less," the sheriff said.
Spoden thanked his campaign manager, his wife and his mom, who died earlier this year. He said his mom always helped him campaign.
The sheriff's campaign was relatively quiet until Keller referred to deputies as brownshirts during a campaign forum. Brownshirt is a reference to Adolf Hitler's Nazi storm troopers.
Keller said people during the campaign had been telling him that deputies were acting like brownshirts. He said he didn't think deputies were brownshirts.
When Spoden responded to the brownshirt comment, he said, "I found that a little distasteful that you referred to our deputies as brownshirts, and I can tell you that the men and women of the sheriff's office are dedicated and work very hard for our community."