LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — For the first time in four decades, Limestone County voters didn’t see “Mike Blakely’s” name on the ballot in the race for sheriff.

Five candidates qualified on the Republican side, with incumbent “Joshua McLaughlin” winning the nomination – with roughly 60% of the vote.

Governor Kay Ivey first appointed McLaughlin as sheriff in September 2021, after Blakely was convicted on theft and felony ethics charges in a jury trial. Blakely had held the office of sheriff for over 38 years.

During his campaign, McLaughlin said he planned to focus on relationships with other local agencies and create task forces to help with solving crimes, along with pointing out the need for more deputies and specialized investigators.

This November, McLaughlin will face Randy King, who is running as an independent.

King is a retired Chief Deputy from the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office.