Former sergeant leading King County sheriff race

SEATTLE -- Former Sgt. John Urquhart who retired last year as spokesman for the King County sheriff's office has a 57-42 percent lead in his bid to return to the department as sheriff.

Urquhart says his top priority is to restore public confidence and trust in the sheriff's office.

"I think what it means for the community is they got my message," Urquhart said after early returns were announced Tuesday night. "My message is we've got to make sure the sheriff's office stays on the right road so we maintain the trust of the community."

The 64-year-old took on 47-year-old Steve Strachan who was appointed sheriff in April following the resignation of Sheriff Sue Rahr. Strachan was her chief deputy and previously served five years as Kent police chief.

"We've been very, very proud of the campaign that we've run," Strachan said on Tuesday.

The sheriff runs a department with nearly 700 deputies who police unincorporated areas around Seattle.