Butler County Will Have A New Sheriff in November - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Poplar Bluff -- Heather Flanigan Reports

Butler County Will Have A New Sheriff in November

August 3, 2004 -- Posted at 6:43 p.m. CDT

POPLAR BLUFF -- Tuesday night on K8 news we told you that incumbent bill heaton lost his place on the Republican ticket for Butler County Sheriff. 

Republican candidate for sheriff Mark Dobbs said, "I think there is to be very honest some retribution there. To boil it down 202 days ago, I lost my job for doing what was right and last night he lost his for doing what was wrong."

Former Sheriff's Deputy, Mark Dobbs was fired by Butler County Sheriff Bill Heaton following allegations of criminal wrongdoing.  Last night, Dobbs beat Heaton in the primary election for a republican candidate for sheriff. Wednesday, Heaton supporters say there shocked.

Heaton supporter Frank Terry, "Well, I was really sorry that he lost. He's a personal friend of mine. We, myself and a group of my friends which is pretty large group supported him, and we thought really what happened with the exposure to some of the negatives was uncalled for and I thought it was, you know, a little bit nasty on the early part of the race. We weren't very happy."

Heaton also faced felony charges after an alleged incident involving an inmate's injuries. Those charges were later dropped, but Dobbs says voters didn't forget.

But were Heaton's legal problems a factor is this years issue?

"I think it did to some extent, but we got out and worked and I told the people in my committee and the people helping me that we were going to go out and campaign just like none of that existed and that's what we done and whether or not that played a factor or not, I don't know, but we just worked awful hard and I think that's how we got it done," said Dobbs.

No matter who takes over this office in November, one things for certain. They'll face plenty of challenges right here in Butler County.

"It's really something whenever you come in and beat an incumbent that's never been beat in a primary before who in the past has been very popular among the voters," said Dobbs.

But Heaton supporters may not throw their vote to the Republican candidate.

"I'll have to lay mine on Kneibert.  Based on you know what's happened in the past. That's just my personal opinion; I guess I'm entitled to it," said Terry.

Dobbs and Democratic candidate Richard Kneibert will face off in November. 

K8 news was unable to reach Heaton Wednesday for comment. Two other issues of statewide interest... voters overwhelmingly said that they want a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Voters also said "no" to casinos in Branson.

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