One of the most closely watched races in Columbia County during the 2018 General Election was the Columbia County sheriff's race. Voters elected Brian Pixley to serve as the new sheriff for a four-year term.
Pixley currently works at the Sheriff's Office as a lieutenant and serves as the agency's public information officer. He will be sworn-in to the position in early 2019.
Pixley secured 10,050 votes, according to unofficial final results. He ran against challengers Dave Brown and Jim Gibson. Brown trailed behind Pixley with 8,761 votes, while Gibson received 2,525.
Both Pixley and Brown ran prominent campaigns across the county. Pixley received small nods of support from a handful of CCSO employees and a $178 contribution of leftover campaign funds from former Sheriff Jeff Dickerson. Brown received notable financial backing from a former CCSO reserve deputy.
Pixley could not be reached for comment by Thursday, the Spotlight's press deadline, but posted statement on his campaign page thanking supporters, family and his fellow sheriff's candidates.
"It is truly an honor to be elected Sheriff of Columbia County," Pixley stated on his campaign Facebook page. "Thank you to so many who have supported my campaign and the ideals upon which it has been based. I am excited to help move the Sheriff's Office forward with increased accountability and professionalism, continued community involvement and strong relationships with community organizations and residents. Together we will make great achievements and make Columbia County an even better place to live."
Gibson also conceded via his campaign social media page, congratulating Pixley. "Best wishes to him in getting the needed changes put in place, bringing Accountability, Transparency, and public trust back in the Sheriff's Office. May God watch over you and your family!"
Gibson also gave a nod to Brown, who faced criticism after it was noted that the voters' pamphlet misstated the number of years he spent in law enforcement management.
"Thank you to Dave Brown for putting himself in the race and for being willing to endure the unnecessary attacks on his character," Gibson wrote. "May God bless you and your family for your efforts to make our County a better and safer place to live."