Ted Boehm’s 20-year career as Boone County sheriff will come to an end in January with the swearing in of his preferred successor, Dwayne Carey.
With more than half of the votes counted by press time, Carey, the Democrat, had nearly 62 percent of the vote. Republican candidate Mick Covington had about 38 percent.
Carey has spent his entire 15-year career with the sheriff’s department and said the transition to sheriff should come easy.
“I’ve been working in administration for the last eight years,” Carey said. “I do a lot of this stuff already. Sure there’s stuff I’ve never run into before, but the (outgoing) sheriff is always a quick phone call away. Come January 1 we will keep moving in the same direction.”
A captain since 1999, Carey’s campaign stressed his knowledge of the department’s inner workings and his goal to continue county law enforcement efforts already in place.
Boehm said he would be available to help with the transition.
“I think it’s so important to make this the smoothest transition possible,” he said. “Whatever I need to do to be there, I’ll do it.”
Among his new initiatives, Carey proposes equipping more officers with Tasers, incorporating new law-enforcement technologies when possible and hiring a new traffic officer when funds are available.
Carey’s opponent, Mick Covington, a director of the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association Training Academy and a 20-year veteran of the Columbia Police Department, was the first Republican candidate for sheriff since 1984. He ran unopposed in the primary election.
He said he plans to continue his work with the training school and has no regrets about his campaign.
“I’m very happy with the way we ran our campaign,” he said. “We stayed on message, we stuck with the issues. I think we did just about everything we could do to try and get our message out.”
Covington said his platform, which included working with judges to find alternative sentences for non-violent offenders and beginning a training academy for reserve officers, are still important.
“I think there are issues that have been raised, I think there are issues that need to be addressed,” he said. “Regardless of who wins, those issues are there and I think they’re valid.”
The new sheriff in town has quite an act to follow.
Boehm is the longest-term sheriff in the county’s history. He gave Carey’s campaign a boost when he endorsed the candidate during the primary campaign. Carey beat fellow Democrats O.J. Stone, a major with the sheriff’s department, and former sheriff’s Detective Ken Kreigh.
But the campaign was not all smooth sailing. County prosecutors opened an investigation into allegations of perjury against Carey. Local attorney and Kreigh supporter Dennis Murphy filed a deposition saying Carey lied under oath during a lawsuit in 1999. Investigators threw out the claim, saying Carey’s testimony did not influence the judge’s decision to dismiss the case.
Carey out-raised Covington in finances by close to $16,000, but Covington outspent Carey by $7,500. According to a report filed eight days before the election, Carey had raised $95,000 and spent $58,055. Covington had about $79,400 in receipts and $65,600 in expenditures.