Longtime Ocean County Sheriff William L. Polhemus died late last night at an area hospital, Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari confirmed this morning.
Polhemus, 84, had some type of cardiac procedure earlier in the week and seemed to be "doing fine," Vicari said.
"Then late last night around 11 p.m., he passed away," he said.
Polhemus was just re-elected to another three-year term in November. It will be up to Gov. Chris Christie to appoint his successor, Ocean County GOP Chairman George R. Gilmore said.
"It would last until there is an election in November," Gilmore said.
Funeral arrangements for Polhemus have not yet been announced, he said.
"We are going to miss him," Gilmore said. "He dedicated his life to law enforcment in Ocean County. He was a good person. His family is in our prayers."
Until Christie appoints a successor, Undersheriff William T. Sommeling will oversee the department, Gilmore said.
Polhemus would have entered his 28th year as sheriff in 2013. During the campaign, some questioned whether the aging sheriff would be able to perform his duties.
Polhemus declined to debate with his two opponents and never responded to Patch's numerous requests for an interview.
But he won re-election easilym garnering nearly 56 percent of the vote for sheriff with 110,450 votes. Democratic challenger George "Bob" Armstrong garnered 82,031 votes cast, and Independent John McMenamin received less than 3 percent, with 5,140 votes.
Come back to Patch later for more information on this developing story.