Resser wins sheriff's race in Benewah County

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It turns out the third time was the charm, as Republican Dave C. Resser won the race for Benewah County sheriff after losing in two previous campaigns.

He received 2,162 votes in Tuesday's general election, learning the results early Wednesday morning.

His opponent, Rick A. O'Donnell, a Democrat, received 1,524 votes. Current Sheriff Bob Kirts didn't run for re-election.

"I realize it's an awesome responsibility," Resser said Wednesday. "It's a humbling experience."

Resser, 69, a resident of Santa, south of St. Maries on Highway 3, has been in law enforcement for 12 years.

For the past eight years he has been a resident deputy along the St. Joe River for the Shoshone County Sheriff's Office. The previous four years were spent working for the Benewah County Sheriff's Office.

As sheriff starting in January, Resser plans to maintain an open line of communication with the Coeur d'Alene Tribe.

"I've been fairly successful in talking with some of the members of the Tribe already," Resser said. He said that cooperation will be important as the two entities continue to work together in law enforcement.

He also plans to reach out regularly to people and businesses throughout the county.

"I'm a people person," he said. "I plan to take time and stop by different businesses, and get a feel for how they're doing."

He added, "People like to have interactions with their elected officials."

He also plans to host periodic town-hall meetings.

"That way both I and the sheriff's office can get to know what the concerns are in the community and get them resolved," he said.

Resser is married with three grown children. He previously worked as a contractor, logger and custom boot maker.

He's a cancer survivor, who had two thirds of his right lung removed. He has lived in Benewah County since 1980.

O'Donnell, 41, said during the election he plans to work for the sheriff's office for a long time.

The conservative Democrat sought the sheriff post to address drug problems in the county, seeking to appoint a full-time narcotics officer.

He also wanted to start an inmate workforce program, and get new jail facilities.

He worked for the St. Maries police department for eight years, and spent the past three years with the sheriff's office as a patrol deputy, he said.

He received law enforcement administration training at the FBI Executive Command College.

O'Donnell couldn't immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

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