FAYETTEVILLE — Veteran Fayette County lawman Mike Fridley has earned himself some more time in office.
Fridley, the incumbent Democrat sheriff, turned back a challenge from Charles “Chuck” Miller in the race for Fayette County Sheriff in Tuesday’s General Election. With all 37 precincts reporting, Fridley, who was elected as sheriff in 2016 after moving up through the ranks of his 23-year career as a deputy then chief deputy, compiled 9,971 votes to 6,513 for his Republican foe.
Votes, including provisional ballots and any properly postmarked absentee ballots still to come in via mail, were canvassed on Monday. Following the canvass, Fridley picked up 49 votes and Miller added 47 for a final total of 10,020 to 6,560.
“I stayed on my values, and ran a good, clean race,” Fridley said of his approach to getting re-elected. “The citizens of this county spoke, and that’s what it’s about.”
The key for him, especially with more limited interaction with the public due to Covid-19, was “being honest and being upfront and being open, and that’s all we did the whole time.”
“I’m humbled, I’m grateful,” Fridley added. “There was a lot of trash talking going on (during the campaign), and it didn’t come from my side.
“We just took the high road ... and I just think the citizens noticed that. I’m just very humbled.”
The aim moving forward is “just keep doing what we do, just be a little bit more aggressive, do more training,” said Fridley. “I’m still going to fight for my men and women.
“It’s a whole different four years this time. A lot of things changed tonight within the Fayette County Courthouse.”
While Miller doesn’t have a law enforcement background, he said during the run-up to the election that his years of administrative experience as an executive manager in the coal mining industry would give him the necessary skills to manage the sheriff’s department.
He also said the sheriff’s department needs to do more to protect the safety of the citizens and their communities.
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