Sheriff Trafton re-elected in rare contested race, his first

Incumbent holds comfortable lead as last election returns trickle in
By Ethan Andrews | Nov 07, 2018
Photo by: Ethan Andrews Sheriff Jeffrey Trafton, pictured in his office in January, at the start of his re-election campaign.

Belfast — Sheriff Jeffrey Trafton has been re-elected.

In the early hours of Nov. 7, Trafton was leading Belfast Police Sgt. John Gibbs by more than 2,000 votes with 22 of 26 municipalities reporting. By morning, with the remaining results available, Trafton's win was confirmed. The race was notable for being the first contested sheriff's race in decades.

It also got heated down the stretch as Gibbs criticized some of the county's priorities, including the re-entry center in Belfast, which has been a centerpiece of Trafton's administration.

Speaking early Wednesday morning, Trafton, a former chief deputy who ran unopposed in 2014 to take the place of retiring Sheriff Scott Story, said he was satisfied with the outcome of the election.

"I'm happy, and I would have liked a little less contentious race," he said. "But I guess that's part of politics."

He doubled down on his commitment to programs he has championed as the county's top law enforcement officer.

"I made it clear that I'm 100 percent behind the re-entry center and 100 percent behind the county garden," he said. "We're going to keep fighting domestic violence, keep our school resource officer program going." He added to that list the work the Sheriff's Office has done with Aging Well in Waldo County and TRIAD.

"I feel good about all that," he said.

Gibbs could not immediately be reached for comment when The Republican Journal called the race early on Wednesday morning. On Wednesday morning, he posted a message to his personal Facebook page congratulating Trafton and thanking those who voted for him.

"I am at ease with the results and Belfast (residents), well I guess you're stuck with me a couple more years," he wrote. "That’s not a bad thing in my view. I love my job and my community."

Read more about the Waldo County sheriff's race here.

Results will be updated below as we receive them.

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Stephanie Grinnell
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Stephanie is editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. She previously served as editor of Camden Herald following its return in April 2012.

Stephanie also was editor of VillageSoup's Capital Weekly in Augusta and has nearly a decade of experience in the newspaper business ranging from southern and central Maine to Waldo County.

Outside the office, she enjoys reading, cooking and gardening.

Stephanie lives in Washington with her husband Jeff, four children, a dog named Chewbacca, a rabbit and chickens.

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