Watford City, ND (KEYZ) A humiliating distant second place showing Tuesday for McKenzie County Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger as a majority of the electorate chose his challenger and professional nemeses Mathew Johansen who snagged nearly 65% of the votes. Johansen grabbed 1260 votes, while Schwartzenberger, took home only 583. Johansen was himself, stunned by the margin of victory.
“I am just kind of overwhelmed right now, and I’d like to thank the voters for coming out,” says Johansen.
Johansen says if he wins in November he wants to bring calm back to the sheriff’s department. “Where everyone is treated fairly, they go out and do their job and is treated with respect,” he tells News Radio.
Schwartzenberger has a lot of ground to recover should he have a chance against Johansen in the fall. The Sherff had been on a positive roll, having disproved allegations of bullying in his department and winning his job back after getting suspended by the Governor. Still only a week ago, a series of unflattering text messages were made public wherein he teased Johansen about his weight forcing the sheriff to issue an apology.