Miller, Sauve prevail in sheriff races

FLORENCE, Wis. — Florence and Marinette county voters effectively chose their sheriffs for the next four years in Tuesday’s primary election, picking Dan Miller to replace retiring Florence County Sheriff Jeff Rickaby and retaining incumbent Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve.

Miller and Sauve, both Republicans, still have to run in the November general election but neither will face any opposition.

“I am very excited and proud to be the next sheriff of Florence County,” Miller said. “I would like to thank all my supporters, friends and family. A special thank you to my wife for all of her help. I would also like to thank my treasurer, Dan Beauchamp, for his help.”

Miller, an Aurora resident and detective with the Marinette County Sheriff’s Office, received nearly twice as many votes as his opponent, Florence County Chief Deputy Dave Gribble, at 881 to 444.

Miller won each municipality as well, with vote totals at 326 to 224 in Florence, 208 to 74 in Aurora, 93 to 44 in Homestead, 78 to 36 in Commonwealth, 51 to 17 in Fern, 46 to 6 in Tipler, 42 to 23 in Fence and 37 to 20 in Long Lake.

“While I am very disappointed in the election results, the voters have spoken and I respect their decision,” Gribble said. “I wish Dan the best. I would like to thank my family and friends for all their support and encouragement during my campaign for sheriff.”

The Marinette County race was tighter, with Sauve coming out on top with 2,872 votes to Republican challenger Fred Popp’s 2,668 votes.

Sauve first was elected sheriff in 2010 and won re-election in 2014.

“I’m very pleased with the outcome and so thankful to all the good people of Marinette County who supported me,” Sauve said. “I’m also very proud of our campaign. We stayed positive, spoke of my record and the future. Thanks to my family, friends and many supporters who made this possible.”

Popp is a deputy with the Marinette County Sheriff’s Office and a Niagara High School graduate.

“This was a close race and even though it wasn’t the result we were hoping for, I hope in the end it will benefit the citizens of Marinette County,” Popp said. “I want to send a huge thank you to everyone who took their time to vote for me; I truly appreciate it. I enjoyed this entire experience and although it is not the outcome we were hoping for, I believe everything happens for a reason and God will place me where I am needed most.”

Also in Marinette County, voters narrowly chose to retain incumbent Clerk of Circuit Court Sheila Dudka over Republican challenger Carrie Brazeau, 2,598 to 2,545. No Democrats filed for the position.

The other Florence County races were uncontested: retiring Sheriff Jeff Rickaby ran as a Republican for coroner and received 1,063 votes, and incumbent Clerk of Circuit Court Tanya Neuens ran as a Republican and received 1,104 votes. No Democrats filed for either seat.