Kleinhelter rolls to claim sheriff’s post

Brittney Lohmiller/The Herald
Betty Kleinhelter, left, celebrates while her husband, Bill, congratulates their son Tom, after he won the election for Dubois County Sheriff during the Republicans' election results watch party at the Schnitz Brewery and Pub in Jasper on Tuesday.


Voters agreed with Tom Kleinhelter, who had campaigned he would be the public’s new voice for the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department.

Kleinhelter, 49, hits the 25-year mark with the sheriff’s department in January, which is when he will also take office as Dubois County’s new sheriff.

The Republican and current detective sergeant defeated Democrat Tim Lampert, 49, the current chief deputy — 9,263 votes to 7,772, or 54 percent of the vote to 46 percent.

Local Republicans gathered at the Schnitz Brewery & Pub in Jasper to hear results on election night and Kleinhelter said he would not have been there accepting congratulations “without every person who helped me. I can’t be more thankful for that.

“My message was we needed a new voice in the sheriff’s department and I think the voters went with that,” he said.

Lampert, who is the brother of current Sheriff Donny Lampert, called Kleinhelter to concede.

While some changes will be in store for the department, Kleinhelter said the one thing that will not change is having all members of the department on the same page.

“We’re going to do a job that Dubois County is going to be proud of,” Kleinhelter said. “We’ll get together,” the sheriff-elect said. “I’m excited and ready to start Jan. 1.”

One of the people confident that Kleinhelter will do a good job as sheriff was his opponent.

“The sheriff’s department will be in good hands and Tom will do a good job,” Lampert said.

Sarah Ann Jump/The Herald
As they listen to Dubois County Sheriff results on the radio, candidate Tim Lampert of Jasper receives a hug from his daughter, Lexi, 8, during the Democrats' election results watch party at the Moose Lodge in Jasper on Tuesday. 

With the election behind him, Lampert said he was looking forward to spending a lot more time with his family. He congratulated all of Tuesday night’s winners, said he’d given his race his best shot and shared his belief that everyone who was defeated still did a good job.

“We worked hard,” Lampert said. “They worked hard. It was campaigning the way it’s supposed to be. We had a good, clean campaign.”

He also echoed Kleinhelter’s assessment that everybody on the sheriff’s department will be pulling together.

“We’re going to continue to do everything we need to keep the people of Dubois County safe,” Lampert said.

Kleinhelter will succeed the retiring Donny Lampert as county sheriff. The sheriff-elect started as a jail officer in 1994, and has held many positions since. He has been a detective sergeant the past five years.

He and his wife, Angie Kleinhelter, are the parents of two adult children: Taylor and Reece.

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