Sheahan withstands challenge with 73.4 percent of vote<BR>

Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan readily won re-election Tuesday by garnering 73.4 percent of the vote in a two-way race with former colleague Dan Bishop, according to the unofficial results released by the elections department around midnight.

Sheahan tallied 8,611 votes compared to 3,117 for Bishop.

Both candidates are Republicans, and Sheahan was automatically elected to serve another four years because no Democrats filed to run for sheriff.

Sheahan, a 19-year veteran of MCSO who was elected in 1996, characterized the results as a "very big, overwhelming victory.

I appreciate and I thank everyone in Mohave County for their support, and I look forward to serving as sheriff for the next four years."

Asked about his plans, Sheahan said, "We are going to take a day or two off and rest and get back to work."

Sheahan, 51, of Kingman said during the campaign that he sought to maintain stability in the leadership of MCSO and continue to reduce crime.

He oversees a department with an annual budget exceeding $13 million, 240 full-time employees and more than 200 volunteers.

His opponent, Bishop, a 36-year veteran of MCSO who retired in 1997, said he gave his campaign his best shot, and thinks he fared better in outlying areas.

"The cities are the ones that defeated me," Bishop, 64, of Chloride said.

"That is where the vote population is, but that is not where the (MCSO) service is needed."

Acknowledging that three of the 70 precincts remained to be counted, Bishop said, "We'll just have to see what the final precinct totals are.

I am a little disappointed but not for myself....

I was running for the citizens of Mohave County who live in the county area."

Sheahan has said that he has sought to improve service in outlying communities such as Golden Valley and Butler by opening substations and increasing patrols.

The MCSO has 95 officers who patrol approximately 13,500 square miles.