Kriewaldt wins primary for Outagamie County sheriff

Clint Kriewaldt reacts to his victory in the Republican primary election for Outagamie County sheriff, Aug. 14, 2018.
Clint Kriewaldt reacts to his victory in the Republican primary election for Outagamie County sheriff, Aug. 14, 2018. (WLUK image)

FREEDOM, Wis. (WLUK) -- "I know there's a lot of hard work coming ahead of me, and a big learning curve, but I'm excited for that process to begin," said Republican primary for Outagamie County sheriff winner Clint Kriewaldt.

Kriewaldt is now one step away from being the next sheriff of Outagamie County.

He and contenders John Brylski and Alex Bebris were all battling to take Brad Gehring's place as sheriff.

Kriewaldt won the three-way Republican primary election Tuesday night in a landslide. With more than 70 percent of the votes, the Super Bowl winner pulled off yet another victory.

Kriewaldt captured 74 percent of the vote, with Bebris pulling in 15 percent and Brylski receiving 12 percent.

"I'm very happy, and I'm very humbled to just to see the support that I got through the community, the support that I have within our department -- it's been outstanding," Kriewaldt said.

Kriewaldt is currently a sergeant in the sheriff's department, where he's been employed for the past eight years.

The Outagamie County Sheriff's Department is one of the largest in the state. The new sheriff will head a department with a $20 million budget that has about 200 employees.

Kriewaldt said he wants to tackle a few ongoing issues he believes the county is currently facing, including school safety, opioid abuse and problems a recent audit of the county jail revealed.

"School safety has been a top priority for me, the drug epidemic that's occurring in our community, and also the jail -- you've seen with the audit that we had, there's some medical issues that we're currently addressing," Kriewaldt said. "We've got a plan put together, and we've got to make sure our inmates are properly taken care of."

Kriewaldt is a former NFL player and was on the Super Bowl XL-winning Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2005 season.

With no Democrat in the race, he will run unopposed in the general election this fall.

The next sheriff will succeed Gehring, who is retiring after 28 years on the job.

Along with Outagamie County, there were eight other Northeast Wisconsin counties where the winner of the Republican primaries for sheriff will also be running unopposed Nov. 6.