Four years to the day since being shot twice while on duty, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Officer Rick Meyer captured the Republican nomination for Jackson County sheriff in a landslide during Tuesday’s primary election.
In a crowded field for the nomination, the 48-year-old received 3,311 votes, or 50.3 percent, of the 6,582 votes cast.
Meyer also was able to score a high margin of victory in early and absentee voting.
That was good enough to beat Jail Commander Charlie Murphy, who placed second for the nomination with 1,593 votes, or 24.2 percent.
The rest of the field finished with retired Conservation Officer Phil Nale bringing in 876 votes, or 13.31 percent, while Seymour Police Chief Bill Abbott finished with 802 votes, or 12.18 percent.
Meyer said he was honored to earn the nomination and was speechless when Jackson County Clerk Amanda Lowery read the results in the courthouse lobby.
“I know I had a lot of good help and supporters getting my message out,” he said. “It’s very emotional for me and my family right now.”
Meyer’s nomination brings an end to a lengthy campaign that began in the days leading up to the 2017 Jackson County Fair. It also kicks off a new one, as Meyer will face Democrat and Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Officer Jeff Walters in the Nov. 6 general election.
Meyer credited his supporters and work ethic in securing the nomination.
“I think I had a lot of good supporters, I worked hard and did things the right way,” he said. “I think the people saw that.”
The race was a contributing factor to the higher turnout for early voting and primary election totals, Jackson County Clerk Amanda Lowery said. The overall turnout of the primary was 29.11 percent with 8,076 voters out of 27,758 registered voters participating. In the 2014 primary, 4,932, or 17 percent, of the 29,454 registered voters cast ballots. In 2010, however, 30 percent or 8,369 or the 27,873 voted.
Meyer said he did not really think about being shot Tuesday as he walked from polling location to polling location greeting voters and checking in with his poll volunteers.
“Until now,I had not really thought about the getting shot in part because I was concerned about this election,” he said. “There are a lot of emotions for the support I’ve received from the community when I was shot and the support I got today.”
Murphy said he felt he had done enough by walking door to door, advertising and talking with voters.
“I’m at a loss,” he said. “They (Meyer’s campaign) beat me on absentees and really doubled me on the results. We gave it our best shot.”
The night at the courthouse also saw a victory for Linda Auleman, who defeated incumbent Bill Marsh for the Republican nomination for Jackson Township trustee.
Auleman, presently the county recorder, won 1,305 votes, or 54 percent of the vote. Marsh received 1,109 votes, or 45.94 percent.
Marsh was seeking his sixth term.
Auleman said she worked hard trying to reach voters throughout her campaign.
“I walked door to door and worked really hard,” she said. “Bill was hard to beat, and it was a good race. I’m excited.”
How they voted
2018 primary election ballot
Jackson County sheriff
Jeffrey Walters (D) 1,203
William V. “Bill” Abbott (R) 802
Rick Meyer (R) 3,311
Charlie Murphy (R) 1,593
Phil Nale (R) 876
Joe Donnelly (D) 1,195
Mike Braun (R) 2,195
Luke Messer (R) 2,317
Todd Rokita (R) 1,408
U.S. Representative — Ninth District
James Dean Alspach (R) 1,242
Trey Hollingsworth (R) 4,829
Dan Canon (D) 297
Rob Chatlos (D) 73
Liz Watson (D) 955
State Senate, District 43
Clyde A. “Chip” Perfect Jr. (R) 233
State Senate, District 45
John Perkins (D) 143
Chris Garten (R) 663
State representative, District 65
Chris D. May (R) 220
Jared Stancombe (D) 59
State representative, District 73
Steve Davisson (R) 745
Buford L. DeWitt (R) 199
Jackson County clerk
Melissa Elkins Hayes (R) 5,401
Jackson County assessor
Katie Kaufman (R) 5,345
Jackson County prosecutor
AmyMarie Travis (R) 5,384
Jackson County recorder
Clifford L. Sommers (D) 1,235
Amanda Cunningham Lowery (R) 5,486
Jackson Circuit Court judge
Richard W. Poynter (R) 5,646
Jackson Township trustee
Linda Auleman (R) 1,305
William “Bill” Marsh (R) 1,109
Owen Township trustee
Frank Fisher (R) 131
Karen Branaman Wagoner (R) 110