New Manatee Sheriff to start January

BRADENTON, FL (WFLA) - Rick Wells will become Manatee County's 'top cop,' when current Sheriff Brad Steube leaves the post in January.

The 51-year-old Wells is the son of the former sheriff Charlie Wells who led the agency for 22 years.

Then-Governor Charlie Crist appointed Steube to the post when the elder Wells retired in April, 2007 following a 41-year career in law enforcement.

The younger Wells became 'sheriff-elect' after no one filed to run against him before the qualifying deadline expired on Friday. Wells began his career in law enforcement in 1984 with MCSO. When his father took over the sheriff's office he joined the Florida Highway Patrol where he served for 21 years.

From July 2010 until February 2015 Wells was Palmetto's Chief of Police. He returned to MCSO when Steube appointed him to be his chief deputy.

He has worked closely with Sheriff Steube since returning to MCSO.

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