Colin Caudill will succeed James Gress as the Otoe County Sheriff while Jim Thurman won election to the Otoe County Commissioners.


The following are unofficial results from the Otoe County General Election of Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Results were reported at 9:04 p.m.

A total of 6,447 ballots were counted on Tuesday.

Two competitive races in the county involved the selection of an Otoe County Sheriff to succeed James Gress, the longest serving sheriff in the history of the county, and the selection of a board member to fill the Otoe County Board of Commission seat vacated by the retiring Ron Hauptman.

Otoe County Sheriff’s Deputy Colin Caudill, the Democratic candidate for Otoe County Sheriff, beat out Republican Jeffrey Lant, a Sergeant with the Nebraska City Police Department by a count of 3,789 to 2,507.

Local businessman James Thurman, the Republican candidate for the County Commission District 1 seat beat out the Democrat Robert Earll by a count of 661 to 399.

Elsewhere in the county, the Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca school board race featured four candidates vying for three seats. The winners were Barry P. Janssen, 1,182; Greg Mueller, 1149; and Edward J. Zastera, 1,097. Falling short of election was Ryan McIntosh, who garnered 932 votes.

Also in Syracuse, there was a race for two seats on the Syracuse City Council and the results seem to indicate that one seat will be filled by a write-in candidate. Of the two candidates established on the ballot, Laramie Werner had the most votes with 336 compared to 243 for Sheena M. Ammon. Write in candidates were not indicated by name on the unofficial results but one came away with 548 votes, while another had 188. Jerry Werner and Kristy Henke, a current member of the council, were mounting write-in candidacies for office.

Looking at the races of national interest, Otoe County voters favored incumbents as Senator Deb Fischer, a Republican, beat Jane Raybould, a Democrat, 4,090 to 1,969; District 1 Congressional Representative Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican, over Jessica McClure, a Democrat, 4,539 to 1,785; and Governor Pete Ricketts, a Republican, over Bob Krist, a Democrat, 4,257 to 2,098.

Dan Watermeier, a District 1 Senator in the Unicameral from Syracuse and a Republican, beat Christa Yoakum, a Democrat, 4,545 to 1,688.

The Nebraska State Senator from District 2, Robert Clements, won in Otoe County over Susan D. Lorence, 452 to 354. Clements from Elmwood was appointed to the seat after the resignation of Bill Kintner.

Also, a ballot initiative, measure 427, was not agreed to by Otoe County voters. The measure, which was to extend benefits for Medicaid to persons 19-64 who are 138 percent of the poverty income, was defeated by a count of 3,188 to 2,809.