By Dave Jordan, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Canadian County Sheriff Lewis was voted out of office Tuesday night after serving for nearly 20 years.
"I listen to the citizens," said Canadian County Sheriff Lewis Hawkins. "They think it's time for a change. If that's what they think, more power to them. That's what it's about."
Although gracious in defeat, Hawkins didn't hold back when asked about the unpopular measure he believes cost him his job. Canadian County proposed building a new jail and the residents didn't want to pay for it.
"I was the front man for going out and saying ‘Yes, we had to have it.' If that's what cost me my job, so be it," Lewis said.
In Grady County, it's wasn't a new jail, but alleged wrongdoing that Sheriff Keiran McMullen believed lead to his ousting.
"It's kind of unfortunate that it has overshadowed all the good things that the department's done," McMullen said.
About two years ago, the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission raided an Elks Lodge in Chickasha and removed gaming machines. Prosecutors later slapped McMullen and his wife with gambling-related charges. Because of legal wrangling, the case has not yet gone to trial and that McMullen said, weighed heavily on the minds of voters.
"I understand people's hesitancy in voting for somebody they don't know will be able to finish their term," McMullen said. "I'm a little disappointed. You can't argue with it. You might as well accept it and move on and do something else."
The third sheriff, Les Morton, is facing a runoff against Joe Adams. The winner will face republican Gary Stanley in November.
Morton faces nine counts of embezzlement after allegations that he used a county vehicle and fuel card for personal use.