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Matthew Johansen Grateful To Win Election, Promises Changes


November 14, 2018 | View PDF

Matthew Johansen

Matthew Johansen unseated incumbent sheriff of McKenzie County, Gary Schwartzenberger, and did so by a wide margin. With 2,496 votes accounting for 60.89 percent of the votes cast, Johansen's win amounted to an electoral landslide. Johansen had previously served as McKenzie County's interim sheriff.

The Roundup spoke to Johansen after his victory about his campaign win and his plans for the future of the McKenzie County Sheriff's Department. Johansen explained that his immediate plans were more practical, but would grow as his inauguration approaches.

Johansen explained, "Well, I've got to take signs down today. But I'm just starting to make some plans and I'm looking forward to January 1. I'll be getting people in place for the positions that need to be filled administratively."

When asked if Schwartzenberger would be retained as a deputy, Johansen responded, "I don't have any plans for that, but I wish him well in the future."

Johansen also suggested that it would be likely some past deputies, who left during Schwartzenberger's tenure, would want to return. He said, "Some have expressed interest in return. Others would like to, but can't just uproot and move back because they have families. There are some, I believe. I won't know for sure until after January 1."

"We're going to try to get our staffing taken care of and where it's supposed to be. And then, hopefully we can schedule so we get the coverage we need in the county. And that should include the western part of the county as well."

Johansen, who had a small get-together the night of the victory but says it wasn't a party per se, said his victory is still soaking in.

"I haven't done anything to really celebrate." Johansen added, "It hasn't really sunk in."

Johansen wants voters to know that he fully appreciates their support and vote of confidence and took to his Facebook page on election night to say thanks.

Johansen told supporters, "I wanted to take just a few minutes tonight and say thank you to the citizens of McKenzie County. I'm humbled by your confidence in me, and honored to be your Sheriff-Elect. We have a great future ahead of synergy between the law enforcement agencies, a department filled with capable leaders, and fiscally accountable standards, as well as making sure our outlying areas get the service they have been lacking."

He continued, "There is a lot of work to be done. I look forward to the future and invite you to join me and move beyond the troubles of the past to build a stronger and safer McKenzie County."


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