HAMILTON - With only early voting and absentee ballots tallied so far, Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones has a sizeable lead over his opponent, Dale Richter.
Jones has 80.6 percent of the vote, compared to 19.4 percent for Richter.
This is the third time that Richter has challenged Jones for the sheriff’s job. They previously ran against each other in 2004 and 2008.
Jones is the Republican incumbent; in the earlier elections, Richter ran as a Democrat, but this time he’s filed as an independent candidate.
Jones is a Liberty Township resident who’s known for his high-profile attempts to crack down on illegal immigration. In October 2005, Jones began sending bills to the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, seeking to cover the cost of keeping alleged illegal immigrants in the county jail. ICE now reimburses Butler County for holding illegal immigrants at a cost of $55 per day.
Also, Jones has had his deputies conduct raids at construction sites, factories and elsewhere in an attempt to round up undocumented immigrants.
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Residents had one of their final chances to speak in front of City Council before a final decision on the city’s budget will be made.