Greene, Lovick lead in sheriff’s race

Snohomish County sheriff’s Chief Tom Greene and state Rep. John Lovick were leading Tuesday night in the race for sheriff.

In the first count Greene and Lovick were enough ahead of sheriff’s Lt. Rob Beidler that both said they expected to move on to the general election in November.

Just under 62,000 votes were counted in the nonpartisan sheriff’s race Tuesday night. Lovick was on top with 38.2 percent of the votes and Greene was trailing with 34.7 percent. Beidler had earned about 26.7 percent of the votes.

Lovick met with supporters Tuesday for a short time at an Everett restaurant. He said he was walking off some nervous energy when he learned of the results.

“I’m very pleased to be the top vote-getter. These are early results but it has been my experience that they’ll stay,” Lovick said. “I’m looking at 77 more days of nonstop campaigning and I’m going to win this baby.”

Greene was celebrating the early results at the house of friends in Marysville.

“I’m very pleased,” Greene said. “It’s right where I wanted to be. I was hoping it would be me and Lovick.” He said he was worried that if he were pitted against Beidler in the general election, it would have created tension at the sheriff’s office.

“I was concerned it was going to be an uncomfortable two and half months,” he said. “This is better for the sheriff’s office. Now we can pull together and win.”

Beidler was at a Snohomish restaurant Tuesday night when he learned of the first count. He said the results showed him that people in the county aren’t ready for his style of law enforcement.

“Our message has been from the beginning hard-nosed crime fighting. People obviously aren’t ready for that,” he said.

Beidler, 40, waged a campaign as an aggressive crime-fighter and emphasized his deep support from local police officers. He had been the most publicly critical of how the sheriff’s office is run and how it spends its resources.

Greene, 56, who has spent most of his 35-year police career at the sheriff’s office, has been running on his depth of experience and education. He has called himself the chief financial officer of the sheriff’s office and said he is the one candidate who is ready to step into the position from the first day.

Greene said his plans for the sheriff’s office will emphasize crime prevention, pursuing top offenders, investing in technology and measuring the office’s performance. He said the strategy will help decrease the workload for deputies. Greene also said he would propose a system that would add more deputies and support personnel based on an increase in 911 calls.

Lovick, 56, a respected state politician and retired Washington State Patrol trooper, publicly joined the race in June. He has said that his experience as a police officer and policymaker gives him the most diverse experience among the candidates.

He said the sheriff’s office needs to build better partnerships with other police departments and the community. Lovick has said he wants to return the sheriff’s office to a full-service department.

He said he’d like to eventually add more deputies. He believes he has the experience to negotiate with the County Council and the executive to find the means to pay for the additions.

Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or hefley@heraldnet.com.

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