Sickler trounces Froehlich in sheriff's race

    Nate Sickler.jpg

    By a wide margin, voters have given Nathan Sickler another four years as Jackson County sheriff.

    Unofficial results showed Sickler trouncing challenger Bill Froehlich by more than 3 to 1.

    In returns released after 10 p.m., Sickler was leading with 60,985 to 18,264 — 77 percent to 23 percent.

    Since Sickler was appointed by Jackson County commissioners in January 2017, he has given dozens of presentations to community groups advocating for a new jail facility and has worked closely with county commissioners toward the effort.

    The county commissioners put $6.56 million in escrow last month for 47 acres of property near Crater Lake Highway and Vilas Road. Early estimates for a facility with more than double the current jail’s capacity are upward of $100 million.

    Froehlich appealed to tax-averse voters by advocating that the county supplement its 1981-built jail with a modular steel structure in the jail’s parking lot at a fraction of the cost of a new jail. He pitched it as a “temporary to permanent” solution.

    As of 9:04 p.m., Froehlich conceded on his Facebook page, thanking those that campaigned and supported him in his candidacy.

    “We have a very burdensome road ahead and I look forward to continuing to participate in the public process where I live ... Nate I wish you nothing but success for our community,” Froehlich wrote.

    During the campaign, Froehlich presented himself as a “constitutional sheriff” aligned with Measure 15-181, a Right to Bear Arms ballot measure that would have put enforcement of gun control laws in the hands of the sheriff, but as of 8 p.m. Tuesday the measure was failing, 56 percent to 44 percent.

    Sickler also publicly supported the gun rights measure, although Sickler differed in his interpretation of the proposed ordinance’s meaning. Sickler described the measure as “sending a message to our representatives” and signed the petition, but he said that interpreting a law as unconstitutional is up to a judge, not a sheriff.

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