"There are incredibly qualified people in this room," he said.
In the end, Putnam County's 29 precinct committee chairs deemed the most qualified of those people was Steve Fenwick, who won the appointment with 15 votes.
Fenwick replaces Mark Frisbie, who was first elected sheriff of Putnam County in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006. Frisbie resigned Aug. 15, and plead guilty to charges of felony federal program theft on Aug. 29 in U.S. District Court.
Frisbie's charges stemmed from the alleged misappropriation of nearly $13,000 in department funds. He is set to be sentenced on Nov. 13.
Fenwick, who began his career with the Putnam County Sheriff's Department in 1981 as a jail officer and road deputy and has been the department's lieutenant colonel jail commander since January 2003, beat out a field of eight other nominees for the appointment. His competition included veteran officers from the Indiana Attorney General's Office and the Indiana State Police.
Fenwick said he would continue to oversee the jail in addition to his duties as sheriff.
"One of the most important things a sheriff can do is be at the department everyday," he said. "That is something the former sheriff didn't do."
Fenwick said another one of his focuses would be on putting the department's deputies "back on the road."
"The people at the sheriff's department need to get back to work," he said.
Before the vote was taken, Fenwick encouraged the precinct leaders to look beyond the years of law enforcement experience of the candidates.
"Being a police officer really has little to do with being sheriff," he said. "I believe I have the knowledge and experience to be the best sheriff."
Fenwick did not shy away from admitting that earning the public's trust and getting the department's finances in order would take some time.
"I know we're going to need a lot of help and that there's a lot of work to be done in the next couple of years," he said.
Fenwick's resume also includes time as a university police officer at DePauw and the town marshal of Fillmore. He co-founded the Putnam County Dive Team in 1999 and was named Deputy of the Year for excellence in combating anti-social behavior and reducing crime in the community.