Rasmussen draws challenger for sheriff post
By Ken Childers
The candidate filing period for county offices closed on Friday, resulting in a two-way race this fall for the office of Okfuskee County Sheriff.
Four posts were up for grabs, including that of the county sheriff, county clerk, county court clerk and district two county commissioner. Sheriff Jim Rasmussen was the only candidate to draw a challenger, and that race will be decided in November.
Rasmussen is being challenged for his office by John Woods, a former Weleetka police officer. Woods is currently a patrolman with the Henryetta Police Department. Rasmussen was appointed to his position in December 2017 following the resignation of Steven Worley.
An Okfuskee County resident for 19 years, Rasmussen has worked in law enforcement for the Okemah Police Department, where he earned the rank of Assistant Chief of Police. He also worked for the Okfuskee, Seminole and Okmulgee County Sheriff Departments, serving as a deputy, transporting officer, investigator, and undersheriff. Rasmussen also served on the District 25 Violent Crime Task Force.
County Clerk Dianne Flanders and Court Clerk Sherri Foreman will automatically retain their seats, as they were the lone filers for their respective offices. County Commissioner Terry Wilson did not file for reelection but his post will be automatically assumed by Jeff Morphis, the only candidate to file for that post.
Wilson claimed the district two post in the fall of 2016 and began his term on Jan. 1, 2017. The office was previously held by Max Henry, who did not seek reelection that year. Wilson, Jim Bill Copeland and Mike Wofford threw their hats into the ring for the seat, but no election took place. Wofford edged out Copeland in a June primary, but withdrew from the race before the November general election.
Rasmussen, a registered Democrat, will square off against Woods, a Republican, in a primary election slated for Tuesday, Nov. 3. The final day to register to vote in that election is Oct. 9 and the deadline for requesting absentee ballots is 5 p.m. on Oct. 28. Early voting is scheduled to take place Oct. 29-31.