Walsh County Sheriff Lauren Wild won his bid for re-election Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning, he fired his opponent Ron Nord -- a deputy who had been with the sheriff's department for 19½ years.
"My reason for firing him was his tactics in the campaign," Wild said. "He was putting out some untruths."
Asked what those "untruths" were, Wild declined to elaborate, but said Nord was spreading lies to gain votes. That's an accusation Nord denies.
"I didn't cast stones, rocks or sling mud or nothing," he said. "I kept it clean."
Wild said he consulted with the state's attorney and a human resources official before firing Nord.
"Deputies work at the will of the elected official, and what I did was exercise my authority under the Century Code to remove him," Wild said.
Nord, 47, of Adams, N.D., said he plans to keep his options open.
"I have nothing to be ashamed of," Nord said. "I didn't say or do anything to embarrass him or myself or the community in any way, shape or form."
Wild, who's served as sheriff since 1989, said that prior to this election, he had never had one of his employees run against him. He said this term will be his last.
Wild got 63.5 percent of the vote Tuesday, and Nord received 36.35 percent, according to the North Dakota Secretary of State's Office.