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Nominations sought for sheriff’s post

MIDDLEBURY — The Addison County Republican and Democratic committees want to hear from people interested in filling the balance of the term left by the late Sheriff James Coons, who died April 16.
Party officials have been instructed to submit lists of candidates for the job to Gov. Peter Shumlin by June 15. Shumlin will then appoint an individual to serve as the county’s sheriff until Coons’ most recent four-year term expires in February of 2015.
Middlebury’s Don Keeler, a 40-year veteran of the Addison County Sheriff’s Department and the county’s elected high bailiff, assumed Coons’ duties upon his death. He is the only Republican candidate thus far to confirm interest in serving out the late sheriff’s term.
Bryan Young, chairman of Addison County Republican Committee, said prospective GOP nominees are invited to attend a meeting slated for May 30 at 7 p.m. in Middlebury’s Ilsley Library conference room.
Republican candidates will be allowed to speak at the May 30 meeting and answer questions. Delegates to the county GOP committee will then vote on a final nominee to forward to Shumlin.
Young is asking prospective nominees to contact him before the May 30 meeting at [email protected], or by calling 948-2237.
Since Coons’ (who was a Republican) name also periodically appeared on the Democrat ballot during past elections, the county Democrats are also accepting nominees, according to county Democratic Committee Chairman Paul Forlenza. He said Mike Fernandez, a Bristol Democrat, has declared an interest in the sheriff’s vacancy.
“Their take is that this should be a non-partisan position,” Forlenza said.
The Addison County Democrats are next scheduled to meet on Wednesday, May 9, at 7 p.m. at Ilsley Library. Forlenza asks that candidates send him an e-mail indicating their interest and pertinent background at [email protected].
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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