After Tuesday’s Republican runoff, Gary Sisk has, for all intents, been elected the county's top lawman, succeeding retiring sheriff Phil Summers.
Sisk is expected to face a write-in candidate in the general election in November, but election observers are predicting he will easily win that race.
Sisk will become the first person other than Summers to hold the office since 1990. This marks the first time a Republican has held the office in decades. No Democrats are running for the post.
In Tuesday’s runoff, Sisk's vote total was 4,045 compared to opponent Larry Black's 3,340. These totals still face official certification.
Sisk carried eight of 12 precincts: Fort Oglethorpe, Graysville, Poplar Springs, Boynton, Duncan Park, Lakeview, Westside, and Chambers.
The two ended up in the run-off election after they finished as the top vote-getters in the general primary election on July 31. In that election Black garnered 3,808 voles to Sisk's 1,956, which makes Sisk’s win Tuesday a big upset.
Sisk said Tuesday night after the votes were tallied, “We are ecstatic about the support from county residents and my constituents. I look forward to serving the county with honor, dignity and integrity.”
To his supporters, Sisk said, “Thank you for believing in me and all the support you gave me. It is apparently God's will that I serve Catoosa County as its next sheriff.”
Sisk, a major with the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office, is the chief deputy to sheriff Phil Summers and a 22-year veteran of the department. Summers publicly endorsed Sisk after the July 31 general primary election.
Black served as commander of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force, a position he had held since January 2008 until he decided to run for the sheriff’s post. He also served as police chief for Fort Oglethorpe from June 2006 to January 2008.
Sisk is a life-long resident of Catoosa County and is a married father. He is a graduate of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He and his family attend Peavine Baptist Church. His wife has also served as a deputy.
Sisk brings his 21 years of sheriff's department experience to the job. Most notable is his 10 years as a member of the command staff at the department.
At the beginning of the race for sheriff, Sisk said, “I've never considered a life in politics, and by no means does my candidacy make me a career politician, but running for sheriff is something I have given some thought to over the past several years, and I feel that this is the path I am being led down at this point in my life.”