ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Dick Flanagan earned a victory Tuesday over incumbent Belmont County Sheriff Fred A. Thompson.
Flanagan received 4,833 votes to Thompson's 3,917 to earn the Democrat nomination. He will face Republican Dave Lucas in November.
"I had expected a close race," said Flanagan who has served for many years on the Bellaire Police Department. "This is my first time (running for) office. To knock an incumbent out, that's pretty huge."
Thompson is completing his second term.
Flanagan thanked the voters and the help he received during his campaign.
"This is just the first fight. We won that fight, we'll win the war," he said.
He added that he will hold to his platform and goals.
"I've been a Democrat all my life," he said. "I worked for everything I got. I don't expect a free pass."
Flanagan added that he will continue his campaign to bring strong leadership and accountability to the sheriff's office.
Thompson thanked his supporters and the county.
"It's been a pleasure to represent the citizens of Belmont County for the last four years," he said. "I wish the best to whoever my successor is."