Libby Officer Files as Write-In Candidate in Sheriff’s Race

Darren Short will face incumbent Roby Bowe, newcomer William Clark in November race

By Justin Franz

An officer with the Libby Police Department has thrown his name into the ring in the race for Lincoln County Sheriff. Darren Short filed as a write-in candidate on Aug. 26.

           Short, 48, will face off against incumbent Sheriff Roby Bowe and newcomer William Clark in the November race for Lincoln County’s top law enforcement position. Short said he entered the race because he was not impressed with the candidates who emerged from the June primary, when Bowe and Clark beat out Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detective Duane Rhodes.

           “I’ll be a full-time sheriff who is dedicated to the citizens of Lincoln County,” Short said. “It’s a long shot, but I think it can be done. I can win with some hard work.”

           Short has lived in Lincoln County since 1971. His first job in law enforcement was as a reserve deputy with the sheriff’s office in 1997. A year later he became a full-time officer with the Libby Police Department. In 2001 he was hired as a Troy-area deputy in the sheriff’s office before being promoted to detective in 2002. Short left the sheriff’s office in 2006 and spent five years in Afghanistan training police officers under the oversight of the U.S. military. He returned to Lincoln County in 2011 and returned to the Libby police department.

           Among the biggest issues facing the sheriff’s department, according to Short, is mismanagement within its administration. Short believes that could only worsen as bigger budget cuts hit the department in the future. Short also said that one of the reasons he believes the department is mismanaged is that Bowe also works as a backcountry outfitter and is often busy with those duties.

           During the June primary, Bowe received 43 percent of the vote and Clark received 35 percent of the vote. Bowe has been with the department for 24 years and was first elected in 2011.

           Clark has lived in Lincoln County full-time since 2012 and is running because he believes local law enforcement across the country is being “federalized.” Clark is a retired police chief who worked in Washington and California starting in the 1970s. He was also a member of a SWAT team and ran a jail before becoming a port commissioner in eastern Washington in the early 2000s. He purchased land in Lincoln County in 1999 and moved to the area fulltime in 2012. Clark said he would refuse federal funding and look for other ways to support the department.

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