Sheriff looks ahead

It was a landslide – incumbent Lycoming County Sheriff Mark Lusk will retain his office, according to unofficial municipal election results Tuesday night via the Lycoming County Voter Services website.

Lusk garnered 11,611 votes, 75 percent, while McGee earned 3,923 votes. There were 21 write-in votes.

“Looks like we’re back,” Lusk, a Republican, said. “Being out there in the public eye is a lot of work, and it’s very rewarding knowing the public as a whole gave us that vote of confidence to the level they did.

“It’s a good feeling that the public has spoken and given a very clear statement. They gave a clear statement four years ago, and gave a clear statement this year. I can’t be more pleased to know the people support me and support this office and what we’re doing in the office.”

As Lusk watched the numbers build on the screen in the Pine Street Executive Plaza during the municipal election Tuesday night, he spoke of the importance of the office of sheriff.

“We are the thin blue line – that’s what stands between good and evil. That’s us, in the blue uniforms. We, together from all levels, make up that line,” Lusk said.

He emphasized he’s a “career law enforcement officer,” not a “career politician.” He said he believes voters strongly support the more efficient license-to-carry system as a way to get a gun license.

“This election started four years ago when I came into office, to address the needs of the people and improve on the office: to be accessible, to listen and bring positive change,” Lusk said.

The first step he’ll take into his new term will to add color photographs of fugitives on the county’s list on Next, he’ll continue to address the “ongoing issue of monitoring prison overcrowding and managing it in a beneficial way.” Third, he’ll continue to address ways to “attack this drug problem with creative ways and thinking with the heroin problem that’s spiked all around the county,” he said. And his core mission of sheriff never will change, he said.

Though McGee lost the race, he said it won’t keep him down – he’ll run again next election.

“Many of the problems we have in government are career politicians. In my own small way, I’m trying to get voters out here to understand that,” McGee said. “They should look at each individual candidate with background knowledge” before voting down party lines.

His primary way of campaigning this time around was just talking with people as he ran into them. Next time, he said he’ll have to do a “better job in organization with the political party, as far as executing the campaign,” he said.

He noted in regard to political committees, the Democratic Party wasn’t represented in some townships and precincts.

“I’ll have to solicit these people to become more active and to put the word out,” McGee said.

If he ever wins as sheriff, he said his first priority will be to help those in office understand “they’re public servants, not public masters.”