Stolle wins third term as Va. Beach sheriff

Ken Stolle gives his acceptance speech after winning his third term as Virginia Beach sheriff on Nov. 7, 2017. Photo courtesy of Ken Stolle

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Incumbent Ken Stolle won his third term as Virginia Beach sheriff on Tuesday night, defeating challenger John Bell Jr.

Stolle declared victory around 9:10 p.m., after garnering 60 percent of the vote with 87 percent of precincts reporting.

“I want to thank the citizens of Virginia Beach for entrusting me with their safety for the next four years,” Stolle said. “It is a great honor and I don’t take it lightly.”

It wasn’t the first time Stolle and Bell, who both joined the Virginia Beach police force back in 1976, have faced off. Stolle topped Bell back in 2009 to win his first term as sheriff.

Stolle ran unopposed in 2013.

Ken Stolle

His previous roles include serving as a Virginia Beach police officer, attorney and Virginia senator. He is also a graduate of Cox High School and Berry College.

Stolle says priorities for his next term include continuing to earn 100 percent audit and inspection scores, expanding alternative sentencing options for nonviolent offenders, improving mental health and opioid addiction treatment and seeking equal pay for all of the city’s law enforcement officers.

His third four-year term will begin Jan. 1, 2018.