Cape Girardeau County Sheriff John Jordan announced Monday he will resign at 1 p.m. Aug. 13 as he expects to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a federal marshal post.

In his resignation letter, Jordon wrote, “Some say the safe thing to do is wait for the final confirmation vote, but in my heart I know now is the right time and it’s also the right thing to do.”

Jordan said his action allows the county commission to call for a special election of a new sheriff to be held at the same time as the November general election.

“By stepping down now, it will save the county taxpayers the $80,000 expense of conducting a special election outside of the November election,” Jordan said.

The timing is important because candidates for the November election must be certified by close of business Aug. 28, the sheriff said.

The central committees of the Republican and Democratic parties in Cape Girardeau County would each be able to nominate a candidate to run in the November special election, he said.

County Clerk Kara Clark Summers said independent candidates also can file for sheriff. Under state law, such candidates must submit petitions signed by registered voters in the county equal to at least 2 percent of the number of voters who cast ballots in the last sheriff’s race, she said.

The County Commission will appoint someone to serve as interim sheriff until a new sheriff is elected, Summers said.

The winner of the election will serve as sheriff until the unexpired term ends in 2020.

Presiding Commissioner Clint Tracy said the commission plans to appoint an interim sheriff and call for a special election on the same date as Jordan’s resignation.

Tracy said the winner of the special election will take office immediately as opposed to the normal, Jan. 1, start of the next term.

The commission has not decided whom to appoint as interim sheriff, Tracy said.

Tracy said anyone interested in being named interim sheriff may submit a resume to commissioners’ administrative assistant, Vicki Ivy.

President Donald Trump nominated Jordan for the marshal post in April.

If confirmed, Jordan would become U.S. marshal for the federal Eastern District of Missouri.

Jordan has served as sheriff for more than 23 years, making him the longest serving sheriff in Cape Girardeau County history.

He began his law enforcement career in 1980 with the Bollinger County Sheriff’s Department, where he served for six years.

He joined the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Department in 1986 and served as deputy investigator, sergeant and lieutenant before being elected sheriff in 1994.

In his resignation letter, Jordan said he has had “a blessed career.”

The longtime sheriff said he has “been privileged to work with some of the greatest employees on this planet. All credit or praise for any successes I may have experienced belong to them, but above all, God.”

Jordan said he won’t make any more public comments on his departure until his resignation takes effect later this month.

By Mark Bliss | Southeast Missourian