Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown won by a wide margin in the Republican primary election Tuesday, taking the first step in his re-election bid against challenger Keith Howard. Brown, a Republican, will now face Democratic opponent Rey Rodriguez in November.
While final numbers were not certified Wednesday, totals available showed Brown, the incumbent, sweeping the polls with 8,041 votes to Howard’s 1,455 votes — a 64 percent advantage.
Brown expressed gratitude to supporters and those who worked on his campaign.
“I am very humbled, to the point of tears,” he told the Statesboro Herald on Wednesday. “I want to say ‘thank you’ to the citizens of this county for their support and prayers, and for standing with me and moving this office forward.”
Brown is completing his first term in office. During his tenure, he has faced challenges including juggling more than $1 million in overtime pay, the need for additional deputies and expansion of the Bulloch County Jail.
Regarding his win in Tuesday’s primary, Brown said he looks forward to the continued race for the sheriff’s seat as he faces Rodriguez in the fall.
“I give all the glory to God, because I would not be here without him,” he said. “Keith ran a good, professional race, and I hope he feels the same way about how I conducted myself.”
Howard was understandably disappointed with the turnout but conceded the race with positive comments toward Brown.
“With an overwhelming voice, the taxpayers of Bulloch County turned out to show their support for Sheriff Brown,” he said. “I wish the best for him and his staff. I pray for God to keep them all safe. It was my pleasure to be given the guidance from God to campaign for this office.”
Thanking those who supported him in his campaign and who cast their votes for him, he said he was honored to have been able to run for the office.
“Without a choice, we don’t always see the truth.”
Rodriguez was not immediately available for comment on the continued race for the sheriff’s seat Wednesday.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.