Silberman prevails in high bailiff race

ADDISON COUNTY — Middlebury Democrat Dave Silberman breezed to victory in the race for Addison County High Bailiff, a contest that turned out to be one of Addison County’s most active and expensive clashes on Nov. 3.
With the small community of Whiting yet to report its results Wednesday morning, Silberman held an insurmountable 10,425-7,464 advantage over the closest of his two competitors, Middlebury Republican Ron Holmes.
Independent candidate Michael Elmore of Addison — a sergeant with the Addison County Sheriff’s Department — was in third place, with 2,501 votes.
“I’m proud to have run a positive, issued-oriented campaign, focused on educating voters on the importance of independent, civilian oversight of police, and the need to make deep changes to our criminal-legal system so that our society can be safer and more just, for all of us,” Silberman, an attorney, said in a Wednesday morning email to his supporters.
Silberman, as of mid-October, had reported raising $12,066 and spending $10,566 in his bid for high bailiff, a position whose limited duties include serving papers the sheriff is legally incapable of serving, arresting the sheriff if necessary, and/or acting as sheriff if that office is vacant.
Silberman carried majorities in 16 of the county’s 23 communities, with Holmes taking the majority in seven. Silberman substantially outpaced Holmes in their respective hometown of Middlebury, 2,774 to 1,029.
Elmore placed a distant third in all 23 communities.
Holmes, a former ACSD deputy and former county high bailiff, lost to Silberman in the Democrat primary on Aug. 11, but jumped back into the race as a Republican for the general election.
Silberman said he’s established a good rapport with Addison County Sheriff Peter Newton, and reiterated his plans for the high bailiff’s position. And he thanks Holmes and Elmore for running “clean campaigns.”
“I’m very grateful to the voters of Addison County for putting their trust in me to hold this position,” Silberman said during a phone interview. “The importance of this position is mostly symbolic, but that symbolism is real and meaningful. The victory tonight is a victory for the concept of police accountability and civilian oversight over our police institutions, which are really important things. I’m glad to have the voters of Addison County behind me on that.”
He hopes his candidacy encourages people in other counties to run for high bailiff and use the post as a vehicle for change.
“I hope other folks around the state and the county are paying attention and seeing that running on criminal justice reform and police accountability is a way to win campaigns, not lose them,” he said. “The old fear of being labeled ‘soft on crime’ is not applicable anymore. The voters want change in this area of law.”
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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