Douglas County Republicans nominate longtime law enforcement veteran to finish retired sheriff’s term

photo by: Journal-World File Photo

In this file photo from March 2016, Randy Roberts, then-director of the Emergency Communication Center, is pictured at the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th Street.

Updated at 12:01 p.m. July 20

The Douglas County Republican Party has nominated a longtime law enforcement veteran to take over the remainder of the retired sheriff’s term.

Randy Roberts was selected with a unanimous vote of 37 precinct committeepeople Friday night, said Ron Thacker, chair of the county GOP.

Roberts had a 27-year career in law enforcement, the Journal-World has previously reported. After three years with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Roberts spent the rest of his law enforcement career with the Lawrence Police Department, the last 17 years as a sergeant. Roberts then retired briefly before he started work as director of the Douglas County Emergency Communications Center in March 2015. He retired from that role earlier this year.

Officials with the county GOP will hand-deliver paperwork to Gov. Laura Kelly’s office Monday morning; she then has 10 days to finalize the appointment or it will become automatic, Thacker said. If the appointment goes through, Roberts will serve until the next elected sheriff is sworn in.

Longtime Sheriff Ken McGovern stepped down on June 27, about six months ahead of schedule. He named Undersheriff Steve Buchholz the interim sheriff to take over until the Republican party could nominate a successor for the remainder of the term.

— Editor’s note: Information in this article about Roberts’ work experience has been corrected from a previous version.

Related coverage

June 12, 2020: Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern to retire early; he says ‘it’s been fun for 39 years’

June 12, 2019: Douglas County sheriff won’t seek another term, plans to retire in 2020


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