GREAT FALLS – After more than 20 hours of ballot counting, the unofficial results confirm that Cascade County’s newly elected sheriff will be Jesse Slaughter.
The Great Falls Police Department detective of nearly two decades defeated current Sheriff Bob Edwards in the Democratic primary election. He faced Republican Lt. Bob Rosipal in the midterm election.
The unofficial final results show Slaughter pulling 17,344 votes (53%) with Rosipal taking 15,510 votes (47%).
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for this community because this was a race where I felt there were two really good candidates. This community has to choose between two good candidates, which often times in politics people are hoping for what’s the lesser of two evils. That was not the case in this race,” Slaughter said.
The newly-elected sheriff says the transition will start immediately.
“I spoke with Sheriff Edwards and we will start the transition immediately. We’ll start talking, community, working together, so that I can get involved in the office. I can get Cory involved in the office and we can start moving forward so it’s not all at once after the first of the year,” Slaughter said.
Slaughter says he’s excited to see what he and Cory Reeves, along with those already in the office, can do.
“The sky is the limit. I think there is a lot of possibility in that office. I said from day one that with the men and women who work in the Cascade County jail, the men and the women sworn in, the civilian staff who work in the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office, that they are amazing people there. I feel that with Cory and I’s leadership that we are going to be able to take it to another level,” Slaughter said.
Reeves currently works for the Great Falls Police Department as an officer.
“He’s my opposite, so he’s my compliment. We can work off of each other really well and we can also challenge each other,” Slaughter said.
But as Slaughter prepares for the future, he reminisces on the last twenty years with the Great Falls Police Department.
“I have to admit, it’s a little bittersweet. It dawned on me that I’ll no longer be working at the Great Falls Police Department here pretty soon. I have a lot of really great memories,” Slaughter said. “I have a really close law enforcement family and I was fortunate enough in my career to do things that have really made an amazing difference in our community.”
Reporting by Elizabeth Transue for MTN News