The aftermath of a highly contested sheriff's election in Stanislaus County took on a peacemaking tone this week.
In a statement, Sheriff-elect Jeff Dirkse said he looks forward to working with outgoing sheriff Adam Christianson to work on recruiting and hiring qualified staff and to address other issues in the Sheriff's Department.
Dirkse, who won by a 52 percent-to-48 percent margin in the June 5 election, also recognized his opponent, Sgt. Juan Alanis.
"I respect his service to our county and the commitment he also brings to public safety," Dirkse said. "I appreciated the opportunity to discuss and debate our ideas for the Sheriff's Department."
Alanis conceded Wednesday and thanked his campaign team in a Facebook post. "This has been a challenging race and I want to acknowledge my opponent, Jeff Dirkse, and congratulate him on his victory," Alanis wrote. "I look forward to working with Sheriff-elect Dirkse as we move forward in making the Sheriff's office the premier law enforcement agency in Stanislaus County."
The contest between two first-time candidates resulted in more than $325,000 in total spending by the respective campaigns, according to disclosures. Dirkse was supported by Christianson and the patrol deputies union, which cast aspersions on Alanis' management background and personnel record, while Alanis claimed the current sheriff had created a toxic culture in the department.
Dirkse will be sworn in as sheriff in January.