LEES SUMMIT, Mo. — Darryl Forte won Tuesday’s election for Jackson County sheriff.
The race saw incumbent Sheriff Darryl Forte compete against his predecessor, former Sheriff Mike Sharp.
There is no Republican opponent in the general election, so the winner of the Democratic primary will be the next sheriff.
Forte won handily, defeating Sharp with over 80% of the vote.
Sharp stepped down in 2018 after allegations surfaced of an ongoing relationship with a female employee. He was accused of using taxpayer money to give her financial support and take professional and personal trips. That case has since been dropped.
After Sharp’s resignation, Forte was nominated to fill the seat and then handily won the election to the job in 2018, defeating Republican candidate Dave Bernal with more than 80% of the vote.
After Forte took over the office, he said he found a department in turmoil.
“I say it’s dysfunctional, and some people fail to realize the level of dysfunctional because that’s what they grew up in,” Forte said of the department he inherited.
Forte said during that time, he’s given over 30 disciplinary actions to non-supervisory employees and has suspended five supervisors for serious policy violations.
“The community’s screaming reform. The community is screaming over and over ‘accountability, transparency, integrity.’ That’s what we have to have, and I set the tone as the leader,” Forte said.
For his part, Sharp has touted the endorsements of both the Fraternal Order of Police and from the regional FOP organization.
“When I first went out there, there were naysayers. But now those same naysayers have got a ‘Sharp for Sheriff’ sign in their yard,” Sharp said.
“When your peers endorse you and they know that you did a good job and they won’t have anything to do with the current leadership that speaks volumes,” Sharp said.