Meet Washington County’s new sheriff, Joel Cochran

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Joel Cochran wins the Washington County Sheriff’s seat after 52 percent of votes from residents

SANDERSVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Washington County has a new sheriff in town.
Tuesday, Washington County residents elected a new sheriff to serve the community.

This comes after Thomas Smith, the former sheriff, died this past summer.

Joel Cochran is basking in his win after defeating both Michael Johnson and Kelly Brooks Jr. for the sheriff’s seat. Cochran won with 52 percent of the votes.

“Overwhelmed, very humbled, by the response from the voters of Washington County,” Cochran said. “We’re excited and we’re ready to move Washington County to the next level.”

Cochran plans to sit down with the Interim Sheriff Mark McGraw and discuss the position.

“Trying to figure out how to have a smooth transition into the new administration and meeting with the employees and putting plans together,” Cochran said.

Cochran says once he wears his sheriff’s badge, he will bring the community together.

“We went from Sheriff Smith passing away immediately, to an election cycle which brought discomfort to all of the employees out there not knowing what the future holds,” Cochran said. “So my first plan of action is to go back in the office and reassure the employees that we’re back to business as usual and keep going like Sheriff Smith was still here.”

Once the board of election certifies the results, Cochran will be sworn in as Sheriff.

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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.