LOVINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s a new sheriff in Lea County.

Sheriff Byron Wester took the oath of office Monday. Wester, commander of the Lea County Drug Task Force, was picked over seven other applicants.

Wester was appointed following the death of Sheriff Steve Ackerman last month.

Ackerman was on his way to Santa Fe when his vehicle rolled.

Webster’s appointment will complete the last two years of Ackerman’s four year term. He will then be eligible to run for election in 2018.