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Marion County searches for a replacement Republican sheriff nominee

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The Marion County Republican Executive Committee is naming a new sheriff nominee this week. Republican nominee Dan Kuhn dropped out of the race last week after admitting to an extramarital affair.

The deadline for applications was Tuesday (Oct. 9) at 2 p.m. On Wednesday night, the committee will hear from the seven current applicants and ask them pertinent questions. It will then vote to make its final decision.

Roy Abshier, the Republican Executive Committee Chairman, said this process is moving forward according to state regulation.

“Members of the executive committee will vote for a replacement,” Abshier said. That’s how they fill a “vacancy of this fashion.”

“Mostly what goes into it is concern for the benefit of our county,” Abshier said.

Once the committee learns that a candidate has dropped out of the race, it has the following five days to select a replacement candidate. Lewis Dinkins, Marion County’s State Committeeman, said even though they are working quickly, a lot of thought is going into the process.

“The reason that the committee is being careful is (because) we’re trying our best to find if there is anything in the background of any one of these applicants that would cause any problems,” Dinkins said. “We do not want to have to do this over again.”

The applicants include Chris Blair, who was the runner-up to Kuhn in the primary election, former sheriff Don Moreland, former deputy Robert Douglas and other deputies, according to Dinkins.

The name of whomever is selected by the committee as the replacement nominee will not appear on the ballot, as they are already printed and distributed.

“You vote for Dan Kuhn, but it will really be a vote for whoever is the replacement nominee,” Abshier explained.

The new nominee will run against Bernie DeCastro, the Constitution Party candidate, for the Nov. 6 elections.

 Hannah Schrader contributed to this story.

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