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Meigs Sheriff Race Decided 70 to 30 Percent

By: Lauren Schmoll Email
By: Lauren Schmoll Email

MEIGS COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Most races that generate a lot of buzz do so because they're so close.

But the race everyone is talking about in Meigs County, Ohio, is buzz worthy for the opposite reason.

Incumbent Sheriff Robert Beegle lost Tuesday night's election to challenger Keith Wood 30 percent to 70 percent.

There are a lot of words you can use to describe losing an election:
Disappointing. Upsetting. Perhaps frustrating.

But Meigs County Sheriff Robert Beegle has another word.

“Well I guess it was kind of a gift,” Beegle said.

A gift because, according to Beegle, the future doesn't look so good.

“The county doesn't really have the money for us to do what we should be doing,” Beegle said. “So I don't have to worry about it.”

Keith Wood will take over as sheriff in January after winning Tuesday's election with 70 percent of the vote. He sees things a little differently than Beegle.

“The sheriff is on a very limited budget,” Wood said. “Everybody knows that. But there is something more that has to happen than just that. You have to reach out to the community. Do projects with the schools and give the kids other opportunities.”

From the county's finances -- to aging patrol cars -- Beegle says Wood will have a lot of challenges facing him.

“He's going to have to deal in reality,” Beegle said. “There's no money.”

And it's that lack of funds Beegle says is holding the sheriff's department back.

“There was a lot of things we'd have liked to have done, but we just didn't have the money to do it,” Beegle said.

“We live within our budgets,” Wood said. “All of us. But you have to look at different things than just being stuck there.”

Two different perspectives -- as two men embark on new journeys.

“I'm really excited for the opportunities we have as a community and county,” Wood said.

“Eight years is really enough,” Beegle said.

Beegle says he wants to thank his supporters over the years and told us he's happy with what he was able to accomplish as sheriff. That includes keeping his deputies on the job and opening up the jail.


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