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Hermes considers sheriff’s race review

Williams finishes first in three-way contest
Monday, October 14, 2019
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Lincoln Parish Sheriff-elect Stephen Williams (right) talks with Logan Hunt during an election watch party Saturday at The Venue.

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Randal Hermes takes a break to talk on his cellphone at his campaign party Saturday night.

Note: this story is from Sunday morning's online-only edition covering the results of Saturday's primary election

Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s candidate Randal Hermes said early Sunday morning he’s considering asking for a review of Saturday’s primary election results.

Complete but unofficial returns show current LPSO Chief Deputy Stephen Williams won 51% of the vote in the three-man race.

Hermes, a past Ruston city police chief and current Louisiana Tech University police chief, finished second with 31% of the vote, while former LPSO Deputy George Webb came in third with 18%.

“It is still early in this vote,” Hermes shortly after midnight. “My campaign manager is reviewing the results, and we will be making a decision regarding an official review of the vote.”

He didn’t disclose the possible grounds for a review.

Saturday’s results will not be promulgated until the voting machines are opened on Tuesday.

Of the 11,640 votes cast, Williams won 5,893; Hermes, 3,594; and Webb, 2,153. Voter turnout parishwide was approximately 44%.

Meantime, Williams, in comments made Saturday as the last precincts reported in, said he was “absolutely amazed, about as humble as a man could get.”

Williams, Hermes and Webb were vying for the job that comes open next summer when incumbent Sheriff Mike Stone retires. The new term begins July 1, 2020. Stone named Williams his chief deputy in March 2018.

Prior to that, Williams was an LPSO commander. Williams, from Choudrant, attributed his apparent victory to the people on his campaign team and to strong support from within the LPSO.

“I surrounded myself with good people,” Williams said.

He took the lead in early votes cast and never lost it as precinct totals came in election night. Early voting tallies showed Williams with 53% of the early votes cast; Hermes with 31%, and Webb, with 16%.

Williams is a 26-year veteran of the sheriff’s department. He’s served as patrol supervisor, Lincoln Parish Narcotics Team coordinator, administrative captain and commander over patrol and investigations.

Hermes has 42 year’s in law enforcement.

All three men campaigned at least partially on their experience. Williams is expected to be back on the job as chief deputy later this week.