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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Jeff Kidwell, Former Campbell County Sheriff and Republican Chair, Dies at 53

Former Campbell County Sheriff and Campbell Country Republican Party Chairman, Jeff Kidwell, died Friday of a heart attack.

He was 53.

Kidwell became the county’s first Republican sheriff in at least 40 years when he won the November 2012 special election to replace John Dunn, who retired after 26 years in office.

In 1993, he opened Star Computers in the Newport Shopping Plaza and first ran for office a year later for Campbell County Constable District 3.

During Kidwell's tenure as Chairman, county republicans saw unprecedented growth. In 2008, when he was elected as Chairman of the Campbell County Republican Party, county republicans lagged democrats in registration by over 3,000 voters. By 2014, republicans outnumbered democrats by 1,000 voters for the first time in Campbell County history. Republicans now outnumber democrats by nearly 4,000 in Campbell County.

A reorganization of the county party saw Kidwell's nine-year run as Chairman end in 2017. He was succeeded by Chairwoman, Sarah Cameron, who helped Kidwell organize the Presidential Caucus in March of 2016.

RELATED: Campbell County Reorganization To Shape County for Next Four Years 

"I am terribly saddened to hear of Jeff’s passing," said Cameron. "It is an unfortunate reminder of how fleeting life can be.  This time two years ago, Jeff was planning the Campbell County Presidential Caucus.  He spent many hours volunteering for the party.  We express our sincerest condolences to his family."

Kidwell was succeeded by Mike Jansen in the primary election for sheriff in 2014.

Kidwell is survived by immediate family, wife, Susan and daughter Elizabeth Kendall.

Jeff and Susan Kidwell at Gov. Ernie Fletcher's inauguration ball in 2003. 

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