Two people have formally declared their candidacy this year for Adams County sheriff.
Sheriff Ryan Zollman, a Republican, is running for re-election. He’s been with the department since 2002 and was elected sheriff in 2012.
Thomas “Tom” Watts, a retired sheriff’s deputy from Nevada, is running as an independent.
The two won’t meet until the general election in November.
The sheriff’s race has drawn extra attention this year after two Adams County deputies shot Council rancher Jack Yantis to death on Nov. 1.
Anyone who wanted to run as a write-in for Tuesday’s primary had to file with the county clerk’s office by April 19. Adams County Clerk Sherry Ward told the Statesman her office received only one write-in filing for this election — and that was for Democratic precinct committee.
But in posts to Facebook groups that formed after Yantis’ death, supporters of a Council woman claim she filed as a write-in and was given the run-around.
Ward said her office received information that Kaleene Walker was “attempting to campaign as a write-in candidate.” She said once that happened, she sought to determine “if we had received any contact, inquiry or filing regarding a write-in candidacy.”
“There has been so such filing,” Ward said in a letter that she emailed to the Statesman on Friday.
Ward said she had tried to reach Walker by phone to discuss the matter but had not heard back. The Statesman also has been unable to reach Walker.
In an email Monday, Ward said she tried again to leave a message for Walker — but this time was unable to leave a voicemail message. She said she also left a voicemail message with one of Walker’s associate.
Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst said Friday he is aware of the situation in Adams County because Ward contacted him.
“She and her election clerk don’t remember one being filed [write-in for sheriff],” Hurst said. “They called yesterday and asked what they should do.”
Hurst said a copy of the filing — which would have a stamp from the clerk’s office on it — is the proof needed. If that’s provided, then the clerk’s office will count the write-in votes for Walker.
State and federal authorities have given no indication as to when they’ll announce if the deputies who shot Yantis will be charged.