Brent Miller celebrated his birthday Tuesday evening by winning the Washington County Sheriff’s race over Republican Roy Overshiner by nearly 1,000 votes.
Miller, a Democrat, has worked at the Washington County Sheriff’s Department for the past 29 years.
Overshiner ran four years ago and was defeated by Sheriff Roger Newlon. He won the Republican primary to face off against Miller in today’s election. He was a former City of Salem Police Officer and a Washington County Reserve Officer. He currently works at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Indianapolis.
“This is a great way to spend my birthday,” said Miller.
Miller captured 5,170 votes or 55.01 percent of the vote, despite there being 2,056 straight Republican ballots cast.
Approximately 2,172 Republicans broke party ranks and voted for Miller.
Overshiner took 4,228 votes or 44.99 percent.
These are unofficial results until certified.
“I couldn’t be anymore proud of him. He worked for me for 16 years,” said former Sheriff Claude Combs. “He’s worked hard for this job. I want to say thank you to all the voters who seen that Brent was the right man to lead us forward with the Sheriff’s Department.”
Current Sheriff Roger Newlon said he was proud of the work Miller has done and is excited about the future. “I think he’ll be great for the county,” Newlon said.
“I was really proud of the voters,” Combs said. “This this was a heavy Republican vote. People took the time to switch over for what was right in my opinion. [Brent is] the next man to lead the sheriff’s department…to lead the officers.”
Combs said Miller will continue to work hard and dedicate himself to Washington County.
“I think Brent’s prepared to do that,” said Combs. “When you spend your career watching this…he’s seen the mistakes we’ve made, he’s seen the good things. Brent and I are close. I love him like a son. I’ve told him more than once….look at what you’re doing, see what’s out there and make the right choice for the situation you’re in. He’ll do that. I have every confidence he is going to be better than a good sheriff…he’s going to be a great sheriff.”
Both candidates have campaigned heavily in the county since the summer, with large showings at polling locations around the county today.
“I want to thank God for making me the man I am today,” said Miller. “I want to thank all the voters of Washington County. I couldn’t have done this without them. I’m a police officer – not a politician and I’m ready to get back to work and continue moving Washington County forward.”
WSLM will have precinct totals as soon as they are released by the Washington County Clerk’s office.