Bill Ketron pulled away to defeat Heather Ann Brown 24,013 to 14,575 votes.

“I’m looking forward to serving Rutherford County,” Ketron said. “I feel like I’ve been training for this position my whole life.”

“I want to make Rutherford County the best county in Tennessee.”

Ketron said his number one issue to tackle will be the landfill. He said he wants to invite city mayors and the county commission to tour the Sevier County landfill. That facility composts 94 percent of the county’s solid waste, he said, or 300 tons per day. He inspected the site in June. He said he would like to work with Republic to make this happen here, but if they are not willing, he will do it alone.

Ketron said another pressing issue is transportation. He has been looking at a smart system that would allow for an automated bus to travel in an exclusive HOV lane, similar to ones used in Japan.

“We’ve got to do something,” he said.

Ketron’s opponent Brown, an independent, could not be reached for comment.

Sheriff Fitzhugh wins easily over two challengers

In the race for Rutherford County sheriff, incumbent Mike Fitzhugh handily defeated Deric Haynes and Bill West.

Fitzhugh received 24,137 votes, Haynes received 9,504 and West received 6,046.

“We’re very proud of what we accomplished,” Fitzhugh said. “It was a team effort. It shows the voters approve of what we are trying to do at the sheriff’s office.”

Fitzhugh said one of his priorities will be taking care of the jail. He said he is also working to reduce recidivism, and the department has created 25 programs to help. The county is interviewing for a re-entry director to help ex-inmates find a job. Fitzhugh thinks the position will be filled soon.

With a new county leadership team, including a new mayor, Bill Ketron,the sheriff’s office will work to build relationships.

“Change can be very exciting,” he said.

The sheriff’s office will continue to build up its SRO, patrol and courthouse abilities. Resources are always an issue for a government entity, but the sheriff’s office will work within its budget, he said.

“I just hope that the voters got … I’m pretty sure they got who they wanted in the office,” Haynes said. “Evidently, I probably didn’t say or my focus was not what they wanted.”

“It didn’t work out the way we wanted to,” West said, “but congratulations to Sheriff Fitzhugh. Myself and my family – we had such a great experience with this and don’t regret anything.”

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