Retiring Sheriff Gerald Robinson has defeated former Jefferson County Judge Dutch King to become the county's next top executive.
No Republicans ran for the seat.
Complete but unofficial results are:Robinson 4,164 King 4,060
Robinson has spent the last 12 years as Jefferson County sheriff and 30 years in county government. He said that his experience with crafting the sheriff’s budget, which is the largest in the county, gives him the know-how to deal with county finances.
“I have been around the budget for a long time,” Robinson said. “I was asked several years ago to run (for judge), but the reason I didn’t is because I felt there were so many things I needed to accomplish as sheriff, and I have been able to do those things. But I feel like my season is up as sheriff I feel like there is a need for some new blood.”
Robinson said the county cannot continue operating “as if it were 20 years ago. (During a budget crisis two years ago) I was instrumental in bringing elected officials together to solve the problem. We came together and made decisions that helped the county make it to the end of the year."
Robinson also said he wants to “make a team of the county officials. The judge and sheriff have to have a good relationship being two top executives in the county. If you go to most counties, if they have a good relationship, that county is moving forward and doing well. It doesn’t matter to me who it is. It is going to take all of us working together."
On roads, Robinson said, “we will continue to look at ways to be efficient. I can’t say we will pave every road or fix every road in the county. What I am going to do is tell you we will look at ways to prioritize roads and look at ways to maintain those roads in a way where they will last a little bit longer. I am going to reach out to some experts that can help us because this is what networking does. You can reach out and touch people. We have a great road crew.”
Robinson said that his first priority as judge will be to bring the county’s elected officials together at a roundtable to discuss “the kind of shape we are in financially. We will talk about how to fix this, we will communicate, sit down together.”
Robinson also said that he also plans to reach out to local executives, such as George Makris, CEO of Simmons Bank, for suggestions about how to better handle the city’s finances.
“Who better to reach out to than those who have made money consistently?” Robinson said.