Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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November 6, 2012

Tanner elected Navarro County Sheriff

Corsicana — Elmer Tanner was the hands-down winner Tuesday in the race for Navarro County Sheriff.

The Republican Tanner easily outdistanced Democratic challenger John Barlow with a final vote count of 11,152 to 3,823.

“I’m elated that we finally after 17 months got to a position to where this has been settled by the citizens of Navarro County,” Tanner said following his win Tuesday. “I couldn’t be more appreciative that they take the future of law enforcement in the county this seriously, and give us the opportunity to move forward with the sheriff’s office.

Tanner, 49, moves up to the top job in the agency that he’s spent his law enforcement career in, starting at a jailer in 1989. He’s moved his way up the ranks from dispatch to narcotics unit to head of the detective division. He also has commanded the county SWAT unit.

“Many years ago I realized this was my ambition to be the next sheriff of Navarro County, and we’ve realized that ambition tonight,” he said.

Tanner said the election victory was the “closing of a chapter in a book” and was now looking forward to his new position.

“Now we’ll be evaluating the sheriff’s department and the needs of the citizens in this community, and we’ll move forward to address those issues,” he said.  “We’ll always work for their protection.”

Barlow ran a campaign on becoming “pro-active, not re-active,” and pledged a number of changes in the department’s operation if elected.

“I want to thank all the people that voted for me,” Barlow said after the election Tuesday, and declined any other comment.

Tanner will replace Sheriff Les Cotten, who chose not to seek another term as sheriff, having served since 1990 as the county sheriff.

Tanner was joined by his wife Mandy at a celebration held by county Republicans in downtown Corsicana Tuesday.

Tanner will assume office on Jan. 1, 2013.


Bob Belcher may be reached by email at Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email:

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