CHRIS JENNINGS / HERALD DEMOCRAT
Grayson County Sheriff Keith Gary, who won re-election, looks over voter numbers at his watch party Tuesday night in Sherman.
There will be no need to change the name on the door at the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office come January. Incumbent Republican Keith Gary hung on to his office Tuesday after a long campaign. Gary started his win in early voting and the momentum kept going as the precincts continued to come in.
His challenger, Grayson County Commissioner Johnny Waldrip, never pulled ahead. Waldrip, a former Texas Ranger who worked for Gary in the sheriff’s office many years ago, said Tuesday night would be a party either way. “We will either be celebrating starting a new job,” Waldrip said Tuesday morning, “or we will be celebrating the beginning of my retirement.”
In early voting, Gary received 2,973 votes, compared to Waldrip’s 2,481. By the time Tuesday night ended, Gary had collected 5,543 votes total and Waldrip had collected 5,061 votes total.
Tuesday evening, Gary seemed happy not to be thinking about retirement. He said he was thankful for the support from the voters. “We ran a very straight forward campaign and we didn’t try to deceive anybody,” Gary said. He said he felt people understood that he had suffered some health problems in the past, but those were over now. Gary said as happy as he is to have won this protracted campaign, it is his last.
“I won’t be a candidate again,” he said.
When asked if he thought he would have a problem working with Waldrip on the upcoming budget for the SO, Gary said he doesn’t expect it will be a problem.”I would like to sit down with him and talk with him about it,” Gary said.
Gary said he appreciates the people who helped him win. He said he wouldn’t want to start naming people because he might leave someone out, but added that they all know how he feels about them. He said he looks forward to continuing to represent the people of Grayson County.
Waldrip said he might not like the Sheriff, but he does have a lot of respect for the people who work in the Sheriff’s Office, and that is what he will be thinking about as he is working with the rest of the commissioners on the budget.
“We gave it a good run. You can’t beat the machine when it gets going,” Waldrip said. He added that he has been working in public service for 44 years. “It is time to set my bucket down. I think I am going to stop being part of the solution and start being part of the problem,” Waldrip said and then laughed.
He also expressed appreciation for the people who helped him with his campaign.