ADAMS COUNTY -- Adams County Sheriff Ryan Zollman retained his position Tuesday with more than two-thirds of the vote.

Zollman, a Republican, prevailed with 1,384 votes - 64 percent of the ballot - over challenger Thomas Watts. Watts, an independent, received 774 votes.

MORE: Jack Yantis shooting: One year later

The election came after a year of upheaval in the wake of the shooting of Council rancher Jack Yantis by Adams County Sheriff's Office deputies Nov. 1, 2015. The Attorney General's Office announced earlier this year that it would not seek criminal charges against the deputies.

The shooting thrust Adams County - and Zollman along with it - into the national spotlight.

The sheriff's position is a four-year term.

Sheriff Zollman issued the following message to supporters on Wednesday:

"I would like to thank each and every one of you who supported me prior to and through this campaign. There were disagreements and contention that arose that I could not have overcome without you, for that I am ever grateful.

"I would like to thank Tom Watts for his insight and service to our community. He showed a lot of grit and fortitude during this very hard fought campaign.

"The Sheriff’s race is over, but our work has just begun. My pledge is to lead the way, with the assistance of the community. Now is the time for our residents to unite and work together in order to heal the wounds of division. For those who chose not to support me, I am reaching out for your guidance and commitment in making Adams County the best community it can be.

"I would like to lay the foundation with my open door policy as an invitation to work together for us all to build a strong bonded community. I encourage all of you to come to me with your concerns, that we may find common goals and work together."