MIAMI – While the outcome of the presidential election held Tuesday is still unknown, voters in Ottawa County elected a new county commissioner for District 2 — Steve Chasteen — and a new sheriff: David Dean.
Dean, a retired detective with the Miami Police Department for 23 years, unseated incumbent Sheriff Jeremy Floyd, who was elected in 2016.
“The people of Ottawa County have spoken and I respect their decision as a whole,” Floyd said. “Having the choice is what makes our country the greatest place on earth. I congratulate and wish David Dean the best of luck as Ottawa County sheriff.”
Dean received 59.20 percent of the 11,436 votes with 6,722 votes in 16 precincts, compared to 40.80 percent or 4,632 votes for Floyd.
“I will be ready to go in January when I take office,” Dean said Tuesday night. “I’ve always thought that if it was the Lord’s way it was going to happen. If it wasn’t, then I would have just stayed retired. The Lord put me in this position and the citizens said they want me in there so I’m ready to rock once January rolls around.
“I have a mess to fix. I just want everybody to understand that it’s not going to be a quick fix. I’m asking for them to give me some time, because I will not let anybody down. I’ve been in law enforcement for 23 years and I’ve never cheated anyone and I’ve never lied to anyone, and I’m not going to start now. So the people in this county can depend on me. It’s just not going to be fast and it’s not going to be quick.”
When asked his thoughts on those that voted him in, Dean said, “I want to thank everybody that supported me from my family to the people I’ve never met in my life. They put their trust in me and I believe they looked at my past and my character and voted on that…and I thank them for that.
“And I want to thank my wife for backing me on this,” Dean continued. “She has backed me on a lot of stuff, from retiring from the Miami Police Department and re-enlisting in the Marines to go to war, until now and this election. I couldn’t have done it without her and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her. I have three kids and three grandkids and I love them all…and without their support I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this.”
Asked his final thoughts, Dean said, “If God didn’t want me to be a sheriff he wouldn’t have made me one. And I know He is going to guide me through it. My faith and my family have got me. I know it’s going to be tough and a long road, but I’m going to do it as fast as I can.”
In the race for District 2 county commissioner, incumbent and board chairman Chad Masterson fell to Chasteen by a vote of 1,547 (30.97 percent) to Chasteen’s 2,423 votes (or 51.03 percent).
“Congratulations to Steven Chasteen. I just hate it that he ran my name through the mud from day one even though we were never even formally introduced,” Masterson said.
“You can look at what all I have done for the county in four years – through floods and tornadoes – and that I still got everything done. To lose after that…well that’s just the way it is sometimes. Being the elected official, I took the high road and chose not to give the county, myself, or my family a black eye,” Masterson said.
“I loved my job and I enjoyed going to work. I’m not perfect, but I had a lot of projects I wanted to get done in the next four years and that’s not going to happen now. This has been a trying four years, not only for me, but for the other commissioners as well, but I still enjoyed those four years and was proud to get elected the first time. I made a lot of improvements, not only county-wide, but equipment-wise for the district, too,” Masterson said.
“I’ve enjoyed my time as commissioner and I gave Ottawa County 100 percent, so I don’t feel I have anything to be ashamed of. I am not going to hang my head just because I lost. I got up every day and went to work and gave it 100 percent and I’m proud of that.”
About his victory Tuesday night, Chasteen said, “The people stood by me and looked at a true vision and a path that’s good for the entire community to get rid of the status quo and put their confidence in me…somebody that’s going to work for everybody and bring this county into a forward looking position that we can all get behind and start rolling up the river in the same direction instead of everybody working against each other.”
“I’m very humbled that the people saw my vision and got behind me to say ‘Enough is enough with the status quo and we are ready to move forward as a community instead of a good old boy network,’” Chasteen said.
When asked the first thing he will do when he takes office, Chasteen said he will make sure that everybody understands the budget – the money that comes in and the money that goes out – and signs off on the purchasing policy “so people will never get in the situation again that we had with the former sheriff and the board of county commissioners.”