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Elections

People gather to watch national election results Tuesday at the Coos County Republicans office in Coos Bay.

COOS COUNTY — According to final unofficial numbers, voters reelected Craig Zanni as Coos County Sheriff for another four years.

As of 12 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Zanni had 16,057 votes, placing him at 67.75 percent of the vote. This put him ahead of candidate Mike Kinnaird, who had 7,509 votes, placing him at 31.68 percent.

In reaction to being elected for a third term, Zanni said, “Thank you.”

“Thank you for the support,” Zanni said of the win. “Thank you for the support through my years so far as sheriff and thank you for the vote of confidence to continue making the Sheriff’s Office better so I can better provide services to the community.”

Corrections Deputy Mike Kinnaird ran against Zanni. Though voters didn’t elect him to do the job, he thanked those who did vote for him.

“The voters have spoken and I appreciate what you’ve said,” Kinnaird said. “I appreciate being given the chance to run against the sheriff and completely understand how you feel.”

Meanwhile, to Zanni he says “Congratulations.”

“Good luck with your next four years,” he said.

Zanni ran for a third term because, as he told The World last month, “We’ve come so far, let’s keep going.”

Zanni has had his eye on future projects, including moving the Sheriff’s Office out of the basement of the county courthouse to the jail next door.

“We’ve done so much to bring back services the community desires and needs and I want to keep that going,” Zanni said in a previous interview.

When he first decided to run for sheriff in 2010, it was in the midst of an enormous department reduction where finances had been scraped to the bone. His goal for running initially was to return the department to a stable infrastructure and bring the Sheriff’s Office back to where it should be.

In 2010, before Zanni became sheriff, signs used to hang at the front door to the office that deputies wouldn’t respond to crimes that included mailbox theft or if there was no suspect.

“We had self-reporting crime reports that would be sent out and less than 25 percent were returned,” Zanni remembered. “So we had no idea what was going on in the community.”

When he was elected sheriff eight years ago, the first item of businesses he accomplished was getting rid of those signs and that policy.

“I said that we would respond to every call we can,” Zanni said. “I came on knowing there were things we should do and I feel we’ve been successful.”

Since becoming sheriff, he has lifted the department from five patrol deputies to 18.

“We have the community support back,” he said. “We also worked to get the pay scales competitive and now have a waiting list of people wanting to apply. We have established a good organization and that word has spread.”

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Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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