CHARLES TOWN – Jefferson County Sheriff Bobby Shirley on Tuesday easily held off a primary challenge by a fellow Democrat who served as sheriff from 2001 to 2009.
Shirley defeated Everett “Ed” Boober by a margin of 2,217 votes to 1,221. He will now go on to face Republican challenger Earl Ballenger, who ran unopposed in the primary.
Shirley said he was “delighted” with his primary victory.
“I look forward to the general election, and I look forward to another four years,” Shirley said. “I would like to thank all the citizens that trusted in me and believed in me. I in turn will be a working sheriff and be there for them when they need me.”
During the campaign, Shirley had emphasized increases in staffing at the department as the core achievement of his term.
He said he increased the number of deputies from 24 to 27, the number of K-9 units from two to four and the number of investigators from one to three. Shirley said he also has worked to increase the number of patrols and to build relationships with the local community.
Boober, who was forbidden by state law from seeking a third consecutive term as sheriff, on the campaign trail had argued that the department remains understaffed.
“If elected I will hire more people,” he said during the campaign. “I believe the department is currently understaffed. I would add deputies and staffing to meet the demands of the office.”
Boober also had argued the department should take a more active role in combating teen drug use. “We have no treatment programs in the county,” he said during the campaign. “I think we should attack it through the student population and their parents.”