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Interim sheriff sworn in, special election scheduled for November

Ruth Ann Dickerson was named and sworn in as the interim sheriff for Cape Girardeau County on Monday, Aug. 13. County Commissioners accepted former Sheriff John Jordan’s resignation on the same day.

Dickerson has worked for the Sheriff’s Office since 1983 and has served as captain for 23 years. She is the first female sheriff in Cape County and will serve until a sheriff is elected Nov. 6. The new sheriff said she will run for the position, if chosen by the Republican Central Committee.

Cape Girardeau County Presiding Commissioner Clint Tracy said Dickerson was appointed because of her ability — “We couldn’t have found a better person to represent the Sheriff’s Office in this interim period.”

Jordan commended the County Commission for its choice of interim sheriff, saying he couldn’t think of anyone, including himself and other sheriffs in the region, that knew the intricacies of the sheriff’s office better than Dickerson.

He added that Dickerson follows in the legacy of former Sheriff Norman Copeland. Copeland, who was appointed interim sheriff in 1986 and continued as sheriff till 1994, had both Dickerson and Jordan on his command staff.

Whoever is elected in November will serve for the remainder of the Jordan’s term, which ends Dec. 31, 2020. County Clerk Kara Clark Summers said she will notify political parties regarding the vacancy.

Jordan, who has served as the county’s sheriff for almost 24 years, has been nominated to serve as a federal marshal and is awaiting confirmation by the U.S. Senate. He decided to resign before his confirmation is finalized, so the election can be held concurrent with the general election.

Jordan said his greatest accomplishments as sheriff of Cape Girardeau County were never losing an inmate to suicide, never losing an inmate lawsuit and never losing an officer in the line of duty.

“That’s nothing short of the tender mercy of a loving God,” Jordan said. “As your sheriff, these accomplishments are nothing short of his tender mercies and a very blessed old country boy from Bollinger County.”

As a final message to the county constituents, Jordan said, “I love you and you will forever be in my prayers.”

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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