Election 2022: Merithew running for Douglas County Sheriff

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 7:16 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 4, 2022 at 11:24 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A fourth candidate has entered the race for Douglas County Sheriff.

George Merithew, a Republican, said that while he may lack the name recognition other candidates have, he brings a strong background to the race.

“A lot of people talked to me and convince me I should be in the race as well,” he said. “And, you know, I looked at my opponent’s conservative values, and they’re just not there.”

Merithew said he made the decision while attending an event for Democrat candidate Greg Gonzales.

Merithew will face Omaha Police Sgt. Aaron Hanson in the primary while Gonzales will square off against current Douglas County Chief Deputy Wayne Hudson.

“One of my opponents wants to spend a lot of money that no one else thinks is appropriate and very few people think is appropriate to spend a lot of money on it,” Merithew said. “I’ve got opponents that want to expand the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, which I am all for if the money’s there.”

He said he is also a strong proponent of the Second Amendment.

“We’ve got one of my opponents down and testifying for registration and gun control — I have problems with that,” Merithew said. “I don’t think that is a pro-Second Amendment person, and I don’t think that’s conservative values, and I want to give the conservatives in Douglas County an opportunity to make a choice. ... I’ve always looked at a law-abiding citizen with a firearm as a force multiplier for the police department.”

Merithew spent 25 years with the Omaha Police Department working mainly behind the scenes and recently retiring as a lieutenant. Add to that his 37 years as an active and reservist in the military — most of his work was with the Judge Advocate General’s Office — and his experience separates him from his opponent, he said.

“It’s what you’d expect from a sergeant,” he said. “They’re more of a specialist, whereas once you get to lieutenant and captain, you are more of a generalist and having to look at a much higher level — and the impact of what’s going on instead of focusing on one little area.”

6 News asked for a response from Merithew’s opponent. Sgt. Hanson’s campaign sent the following statement:

“We welcome George to the Republican primary and are looking forward to his explanation of why he enthusiastically supported Democrat Greg Gonzales and is now running to oppose him.”

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