AUGUSTA — Kennebec County Democrats have forwarded three names to Gov. Paul LePage to fill two county vacancies.

Ryan Reardon, interim Kennebec County sheriff, has been recommended to fill the sheriff’s position.

Former Rep. Patsy Crockett and Augusta City Councilor Patrick Paradis have been recommended to fill the District 1 vacancy on the Kennebec County Commissioners.

The vacancies were created earlier this year by the resignation of Randall Liberty as Kennebec County sheriff after his appointment to become the Maine State Prison warden in Warren and the death of District 1 Commissioner Beverly Daggett.

If appointed, the interim sheriff and commissioner would serve until the end of 2016. A special election in November 2016 will be held to fill the office for the balance of the sheriff’s term, which ends in 2018. Daggett’s term expires in 2016, so the appointee would fill out the remainder of the current term.

The votes came Wednesday at a meeting of the county Democrats.

Rita Moran, chairwoman of the Kennebec County Democratic Committee, said the differences among the candidates were clear in the question-and-answer sessions for each office. The committee voted to drop the lowest vote-getter in each category, leaving a single candidate for sheriff and two for county commissioner. Commissioner candidates must live in one of the represented communities: Augusta, Chelsea, China, Manchester, Sidney, Vassalboro and Windsor.

Augusta native Ken Mason, chief deputy in the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, also had sought the county party’s nomination for sheriff. Carl Pease, of Windsor, had submitted his name for consideration for the District 1 commission seat.

Crockett served two terms in the Maine House of Representatives and is a former lobbyist for the Maine Sheriffs’ Association and Maine county commissioners. A resident of Augusta and a Cony High School graduate, Crockett is married to Robert Crockett, a former Kennebec County treasurer.

Paradis was in the Maine House of Representatives from 1978 to 1994, serving as assistant majority leader the last two terms. He was Kennebec County treasurer from 1998 to 2006 and in 2007 began the first of three terms on the Augusta City Council representing Ward 3. His tenure will end next year, when term limits will force him to leave that office.

Reardon has worked in law enforcement for 21 years, the last nine with the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, where he began as a deputy. Reardon worked as detective, drug investigator and sergeant before taking over as assistant jail administrator. Reardon worked with the Waterville Police Department for 11 years before joining Kennebec County.

The names now will be forwarded to LePage for consideration, but based on his history, it’s not clear that he will make a selection for the sheriff’s office. His press secretary, Adrienne Bennett, said the governor’s office asked for three names for each position, but “if there were only two candidates, I’m sure it would be fine to forward two with an explanation,” she said.

As for time frame on a decision, she said the governor had a funeral to attend and then would be traveling to China for 10 days.

In 2012, the vacancy in the district attorney’s office for Kennebec and Somerset counties prompted a stalemate between LePage and Democrats in the two counties. The Democrats forwarded a single candidate, Maeghan Maloney, to serve as interim district attorney for the two counties after Evert Fowle resigned to accept a LePage appointment as a district court judge. LePage declined to appoint Maloney, saying he believed the Democrats had a duty to forward him a list of names, not just one.

Maloney later ran for and was elected to the office. In the absence of an appointee, Alan Kelley, deputy district attorney under Fowle, served as the interim district attorney.

Kristen Muszynski, spokeswoman for Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, said the election law states, “The governor shall choose from any recommendations submitted to the governor by the county committee of the political party from which the appointment is made.”

“Based on that,” Muszynski said, “it appears the governor must choose from however many names are presented to him. The law does not directly address whether they should present more than one name.”

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ


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