Scherar defeats incumbent Wiggins in Routt County sheriff’s race |

Scherar defeats incumbent Wiggins in Routt County sheriff’s race

Routt County undersheriff Doug Scherar visits with Lulu Gould, during a Democratic Party watch party at Otto PINT Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2022 in Steamboat Springs. Scherar defeated Republican candidate and incumbent Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins in voting.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Routt County voters elected Democrat Doug Scherar as the next Routt County sheriff to defeat Republican incumbent Garrett Wiggins. 

Scherar has spent 25 years in local law enforcement and has been undersheriff since 2017 and has worked with Wiggins for years. 

“It’s very humbling to see the amount of support from the county that I grew up in and have served for the last 27 years,” Scherar said. 

Scherar led 7,457 votes to 4,714 as of 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Scherar said he thinks voters most appreciated his history in Routt County and longevity in law enforcement. While overwhelmed by the victory, he said he looks forward to continuing to serve his community. 

“My biggest goals are to continue to provide a good level and quality of service to the citizens of Routt County, that they deserve from law enforcement,” Scherar said. 

Wiggins has served as Routt County sheriff since 2010. He first ran in 2006, but lost to then-Sheriff Gary Wall, but then defeated Wall four years later. In 2014, Wiggins ran unopposed. In 2018, Wiggins defeated Democratic challenger Kristin Bantle by just 480 votes in a tense race.

“In previous years, in most of those campaigns, it was a contentious opponent,” Wiggins said. “This time around, I got my undersheriff running and I support him 100%.”

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While Wiggins is no stranger to campaigning, this was Scherar’s first time promoting himself and navigating the technicalities of an election. 

“It was a little overwhelming at times. It’s a lot to learn with the campaign finance laws,” Scherar said. “Having a professional race made that a lot easier on me, having it been my first campaign.”

The pair were cordial throughout the campaigning process and Scherar said he doesn’t see the results changing their relationship in any way. 

Both candidates were unsure which direction the voters would lean, but expressed unrelenting support for the opponent. 

When asked ahead of results coming in, Wiggins said he envisions having at least two more years ahead of retirement and if Scherar asked him to stick around, he would consider it. 

“This has definitely been the highlight of my career, serving as sheriff for the past 12 years,” Wiggins said. “It’s definitely been an experience I will never forget. If this does end up being the end of my career, it’s a heck of a way to go out.”

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