Adam Simmonds says he is “humbled” to be elected the first Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
The Conservative was elected after second preferences were allocated, beating out Labour’s Lee Barron – who did not attend the count at Kettering Conference Centre after a conviction came to light last month which would have barred him from office.
Mr Simmonds took 40,923 votes, including second preferences, well ahead of Mr Barron’s 30,551.
Independent John Norrie took third, with Jim MacArthur (UKIP) fourth and Paul Varnsverry (Lib Dem) fifth.
Opponents of the creation of police and crime commissioners have warned against polticising the police, and Mr Simmonds said he would not do so, vowing not to “interfere with the operational independence of the police”.
In his victor’s speech, Mr Simmonds also made reference to the controversy surrounding Mr Barron’s candidature, saying the race was “never going to be easy, it was always going to be messy”.
He added: “I feel sorry for Lee Barron’s supporters because I think Lee is a passionate advocate of victims. I enjoyed debating with him.”
There were suggestions one of the losing candidates could have mounted a legal challenge because of Mr Barron’s ineligibility, with Mr MacArthur saying he was “disappointed” so many people voted for the Labour man. Mr Simmonds triumphed in six of Northamptonshire’s seven local government districts except Corby, where turnout was significantly up because of the Corby by-election.
Mr MacArthur also said that meant the PCC result had been “skewed”.
Mr Varnsverry wished Mr Simmonds good luck as he took over in the role. He added: “I was very much looking forward to taking on and delivering my policies. I still hope some of my policies will see the light of day.”
The Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Adrian Lee, offered his congratulations to Mr Simmonds.
He added: “This is an important day for Northamptonshire and my priority will be to make sure I work closely with Mr Simmonds, to make sure we deliver the manifesto that the public in this county has voted for.”