Western Nebraska man running for McPherson County Sheriff

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TRYON, Neb. (KNOP)- Robert Brian McFarland of Minatare, Nebraska, filed for write-in for the position. Mcfarland, 45, is the current Police Chief in Minatare but says he is loosing his job due to downsizing. The department is eliminating all full-time officer positions due to budget cuts.

McFarland says he has been in law enforcement for 18 years and is looking forward to a new opportunity as his current position is disappearing.

The McPherson County Sheriffs Office will be losing its Sheriff at the end of the month. They are accepting write-in applications to appear on the November ballot for the position.

McPherson County Sheriff Tim McConnell said he thought he would be working this job until he retired, but his health had other plans for him.

McConnell said he was feeling what he thought was a panic attack and went to the hospital to find he had an 80% blockage in the artery in the front of his heart and later learned there was a 70% blockage in the back of his heart as well.

"The doctor said I either need to find full-time help or find work elsewhere," said McConnell.

He said he realized he needed to go to a department where it was more than one position and started looking for those types of jobs. He said he was nervous to put in his letter of resignation, but said he was pleased with how well it was received.

The County Commissioners held a meeting Wednesday to vote on McConnell's fill-in and appointed Thomas Burch as the interim until the November election. Burch currently serves as a part time deputy.

If no one files for write-in status, the commissioners will appoint Burch to fill out McConnell's term and at the start of the new year, they will appoint someone to serve for four years.

The deadline for write-ins to appear on the November ballot is October 26th. If someone wants to be a write-in candidate, they must file an affidavit of intent. The challenger must pay the $424.48 filing fee.

McConnell moves on to be the chief of police for Wisner, Nebraska.