Come Jan. 1, there will be a new sheriff in town, and his name is Mark T. Brady.
According to unofficial results, Brady, a Democrat from Valley Bend, won his bid to be Randolph County's next sheriff Tuesday night, defeating Republican candidate Bruce K. Howell handily by 4,291 votes. Brady amassed 6,848 (72.72 percent) to Howell's 2,557 (27.15 percent).
Brady has been the chief deputy of the Randolph County Sheriff's Office for the last two and a half years. He will replace outgoing Randolph County Sheriff Jack Roy, whose term expires at the end of 2012. After serving two terms as sheriff, Roy was ineligible to run for a third term.
Brady said he started as a jailer in the mid-1980s and joined the ranks of the Sheriff's Department in 1997, also working for the Mill Creek Police Department for a short stint.
Heading into the general election, Brady described his attitude as "cautiously optimistic."
"I felt confident that the voters of Randolph County would make a good decision," Brady said after the results were announced.
Once in office, Brady said he will crack down on drug abuse in Randolph County and focus on maintaining fiscal responsibility.
"We have a very good team within the sheriff's office, and I want to continue to build on what we have accomplished in the last few years," he remarked.
Brady said he wants to be "the people's sheriff."
"I am the sheriff of the people of Randolph County - and that's a very big responsibility; but I accept that responsibility and will do my very best," he said.