Incumbent Buchanan County Sheriff Bill Puett will retain his seat for another four-year term.

Puett obtained 5,833 votes in Tuesday’s election while Keith Dudley, his Republican challenger, earned 3,742. The total turnout across the county was 28.2% of registered voters.

All vote tallies are legally unofficial until confirmed by election officials.

“We thank everybody for their overwhelming support and all the help and assistance and all the support of all the men and women in the sheriff’s office,” Puett told News-Press NOW. “It’s a great feeling.”

Because no Democratic or independent politicians filed for the sheriff’s race, the general election in November will be a formality. Puett told News-Press NOW he plans to seek a third term in 2024.

Puett was first elected as sheriff in 2016. He ran a campaign in 2020 challenged by COVID-19 but built on experience managing various departments in the sheriff’s office.

Dudley, a longtime St. Joseph Police Department officer, touted a fresh perspective and two decades of experience on the streets.

Puett previously told News-Press NOW he would like to hire 10 new drug investigators in his second term at a cost of approximately $1 million. He also confirmed he would continue to employ school resource officers.

On Tuesday night, Puett commended Dudley on a “professional” race. The Fraternal Order of Police had declined to endorse either candidate because both are members of the organization.

Puett will officially begin his second term in January.

Matt Hoffmann can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @NpNowHoffmann.

Buchanan County Sheriff

Buchanan County Sheriff Votes Percentage Precincts Reporting
Bill Puett (R) 5,833 60.9% 24 of 24
Keith Dudley (R) 3,742 39.1