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During this week’s midterm general election, several prominent Platte County public figures at the city and county levels retained their current seats running unopposed.

One of these individuals, Platte County Sheriff Ed Wemhoff, views his re-election as an opportunity to continue learning and fulfilling the needs of the communities he and his deputies serve. On Tuesday, the Republican secured his current role by receiving 9,686 votes (99.2 percent).

“Honestly, just understanding the role of a sheriff,” Wemhoff said of his takeaways from his first term in office. “There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that a lot of people probably don’t realize. The job is a very busy job; it’s been a lot of learning for me and I know a lot more now than I did in June 2014.”

After winning the 2014 primary election and with former Sheriff Jon Zavadil retiring, Wemhoff was appointed to the sheriff position by the Platte County Board of Supervisors in June 2014. He was sworn into office in January 2015 with nobody contesting him in the November 2014 general election.

Prior to being elected Platte County sheriff, Wemhoff served as a Platte County Sheriff's deputy from 1999-2000 before accepting a job with the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office from 2001-2004. Ultimately, he said he returned to Platte County with the vision of one day running the office himself.

“One of the main reasons I moved back was the intent of one day running for Platte County Sheriff. At that time I had no idea when it would be,” he added.

After being elected there was some of the inherent learning curve, but Wemhoff said he was fortunate to be surrounded by a great group of people who made the transition as seamless as possible.

While he does have specific goals for the department, he said continued growth for himself and his department is of the utmost importance.

“My first terms was education – a lot of learning,” Wemhoff said. “My second term is still going to be education … Because there are a lot of responsibilities.”

Other general election winners at the city and county levels who ran unopposed include:

Beth Augustine-Schulte, Ward 1 City Council, 1,177 votes (98.08 percent); Dennis Kresha, Ward 2 City Council, 1,090 votes (98.91 percent); Richard E. Jablonski, Ward 3 City Council, 1,743 votes (99.60 percent); J. Prent Roth, 1,286 votes (99.08 percent); Diane C. Pinger (R), County Clerk, 9,665 votes (99.38 percent); Diane Kapels (R), Register of Deeds, 9,546 votes (99.4 percent); Marlene M. Vetick (R), Platte County District Court Clerk, 9,469 votes (99.46 percent); Jennifer Reppert (R), Platte County Treasurer, 9,352 votes (99.40 percent); Carl K. Hart, Jr. (D), Platte County Attorney, 6,290 votes (95.64 percent); Timothy P. Matas (R), Platte County Public Defender, 8,985 votes (99.34 percent); Thomas A. Tremel (R), Platte County Surveyor, 9,097 votes (99.27 percent); Thomas M. Placzek (R), Platte County Assessor, 9,166 votes (99.19 percent); James F. Scow (R), District 3 Board of Supervisors, 1,410 votes (98.74 percent); Bob Lloyd (R), District 5 Board of Supervisors, 1,722 votes (98.51 percent); Kim Kwapnioski (R), District 7 Board of Supervisors, 1,123 votes (98.25 percent); Jim Pillen, District 3 University of Nebraska Board of Regents six-year term, 8,678 votes (98.77 percent).

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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