COLUMBUS — Voters ousted Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott from office in Tuesday's democratic primary.
"There's party bosses, we'll say, that went out of their way to make sure, I guess, I was penalized for trying to give the public, voters, a choice," Scott told ABC 6/FOX 28 today.
Retired Columbus Lieutenant Dallas Baldwin was elected sheriff with 52% of the vote.
"It's amazing," Baldwin told ABC 6/FOX 28 on election night. "Almost unexpected."
He'll take over the job after the November election because there was no republican candidate.
Mayor Andrew Ginther and the Franklin County Democratic Party backed Baldwin as part of their "Unity Ticket" after Scott lost the city's recent mayoral race in a contentious campaign.
Scott said his in-party political clashes began years ago.
"I think this stems back all the way when I first got into office, for doing what I thought was right for the office. I had some issues with part bosses at that time, and it then it spiraled into the mayor's race," Scott said.
Baldwin said he believed voters responded to the message of his grassroots-based campaign.
"We tried to portray that we want to improve the relationships all throughout the county with the commissioners, law enforcement agencies, and the different communities," he said.
ABC 6/FOX 28 asked Ginther whether or not Scott's defeat represented a "no confidence" vote from the public.
"I'm no speaking on that," Ginther said. "Tonight is not about the past. It's about the future, and Dallas Baldwin represents the future in the office. We're proud of him and look forward to working with him to make our city, our community, and our county safer for our families."
Scott said he'll finish out his term continuing plans for a new jail, as well as drug-related patrol initiatives.
"I'm very proud of the work we've done," Scott said. "I've never said I'm a great politician."
A "couple" people have already offered Scott security-related jobs in the private sector, Scott said, but he declined to provide more details.
Baldwin spent 28 years with Columbus police, where he worked in the robbery division, as well as narcotics, and the SWAT team, according his campaign biography. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1995 and worked on the west side.
Scott said he' meet with Baldwin to help with the transition, if needed.
"I'll give him any kind of help I can give him because I want him to be successful here at the office," Scott said. "I have a lot of people I care about here."