Sheriff’s race pits sheriff against deputy

PARIS, EDGAR COUNTY, IL (WTHI) — At the end of primary election day in Illinois Tuesday, the race for sheriff in Edgar County wrapped with a potentially uncomfortable scenario for two candidates from now until November:  the current sheriff is being challenged by the deputy who’s been with the department the longest.

“I’m not uncomfortable! I hope that he’s not either,” admitted Sheriff Ed Motley on Wednesday, the morning after the primary. “I ran into him last night and he congratulated me — I congratulated him!”

The ‘he’ the sheriff was referring to is Jeff Wood, a deputy with 24 years under his belt; and all 24 of those have been on the midnight shift, where Wood chooses to be.

Wood won his bid to be the Democrat candidate for sheriff in the fall; incumbent Motley won the Republican side of the race.

Wood spoke with News 10 via telephone regarding his political victory with 631 votes.

“Well, I think the biggest thing I bring is 24 years in this county,” Wood said. “I’ve grown up here, was raised here! I know, I reckon, about every inch of this place anymore and I see a lot that goes on at night that nobody else has seen.”

Both men are vowing to be professional until election time.

“Our work relationship should be fine,” said Sheriff Motley.

“I think we can get along from now until then, and even afterward,” said Deputy Wood. “If I don’t win I think we can get along. Like I say, it’s not personal with me, it’s just more timing than anything. And the time is right now to jump in!”

Sheriff Motley said he puts his faith in God, and is at peace with whatever outcome the voters select.

“I won the primary and I think that was for a reason,” Motley said. “Whether I win the election or not, who knows? It’s in God’s hands — it’s His will.”

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