Jackson County Sheriff’s Race: Republicans nominate Bernal

On Monday night the Jackson County Republican Committee nominated David Bernal to be their candidate for the office of Jackson County Sheriff.

Both Bernal and Randy Poletis had been campaigning for the nomination, but Circuit Court Judge David Michael Byrn ruled last week that the primary election for the Office of Jackson County Sheriff should not have appeared on the ballot.  This decision forced both political parties to scramble to develop a process to nominate their own candidate.

As a result, Bob Powell, retired troop commander of the Missouri Highway Patrol, was nominated at the meeting as a candidate for sheriff as well.

After five minute statements by the three candidates outlining their concerns and priorities, a secret ballot was taken, with Bernal announced as winner.  Sixty-eight Republican commissioners were eligible to vote; 34 participated, with Bernal receiving 29 votes to Poletis’s 5.

After the vote, Bernal was asked how he felt.

“I’m grateful for the vote of confidence from the committee members.  I had a lot of support from my family and friends.  It’s a very nice moment; I’m enjoying it.”

Bernal, who served 13 years with the Kansas City Police Department, followed by 24 years as a special agent with the FBI, was motivated to run after the resignation of former sheriff Mike Sharp.

“Like everybody else, when that happened, I was pretty angry,” Bernal said, referring to the revelation that the married Sharp had an affair with a department employee.  “I thought, my goodness, this isn’t fair to the citizens of this county, or the department.”


Geoff Gerling, Executive Director of the Jackson County Democratic Committee, told the Telegraph that their nominee will be elected at the regularly scheduled quarterly meeting August 21st, but added there is an element of uncertainty with the nomination, due to the fact that this will be the first meeting of a newly elected committee.

Mike Rodgers, Ramona Arroyo and interim sheriff Darry Forte are all declared candidates.

The Democratic meeting was held at the Jackson County Courthouse Annex Building, 308 W. Kansas Ave, Independence, MO. Daryl Forte was selected as the Democrat candidate.

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