ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The voters of Belmont County have elected David Lucas as the next sheriff. Lucas was running against Bellaire police officer Dick Flanagan. Flanagan beat current sheriff Fred Thompson in the March primary election. Thompson will end his second term this year.
Lucas ran as a Republican in March while Flanagan ran as a Democrat. This is Flanagan's first time to seek office.
The race between these two was close as the votes flowed in. In the end, Lucas, who has more than 28 years of experience in law enforcement, defeated Flanagan. Lucas' vote total was 16,508 votes, and Flanagan ended with 13,895.
"First, I am truly humbled and grateful to the voters of Belmont County," said Lucas at his election night celebration held at the Eagles in St. Clairsville. "I want to thank them for their vote and their faith in me, and I want them to know that I will work every day to keep them safe and to earn the trust they have placed in me as their next sheriff."
Lucas said this in front of a crowd of family and friends, noting that he is looking forward to quickly getting to work and making an orderly transition into the position of sheriff.
"Second, no one wins an election alone," said Lucas. "I cannot thank my wife and family enough for their love and support during this campaign. Without them, none of this would have been possible."
While Lucas thanked everybody from family to voters for making his campaign an overall success, he took a moment to reflect on the race as an whole and thank his opponent Dick Flanagan for running a clean race.
"Third, I want to thank and congratulate my opponent, Dickie Flanagan," said Lucas. "Dickie ran a good, clean race. In an era of mud-slinging, running hard on your record and giving the voters a true outline of your vision for holding office is too often tossed aside for political gain. Dickie Flanagan did not travel down that road.
"Flanagan has my utmost respect as a law enforcement officer, and I look forward to working with him and the Drug Task Force in the all-important war on the flow of illegal drugs into our community."
Lucas, a longtime local law enforcement office who has run for the position as sheriff before on the Democratic ticket, switched parties this year and ran as a Republican.
Van Dyne can be reached at email@example.com.