Marion County GOP selects new sheriff nominee

By on October 11th, 2012

By Brandan McCalla – WUFT-FM

Chris Blair, Republican runner-up in August’s primary for sheriff, will have a second chance at becoming sheriff.

The Marion County Republican Executive Committee voted and selected Blair as a replacement candidate for Dan Kuhn, who dropped out of the race last week after a sex scandal.

According to the Gainesville Sun, Blair is a 35-year veteran of the Sherriff’s Office and the former head of a major crime unit. Blair won the nomination over nine other candidates.

Blair said he has not had issues reconnecting with voters after receiving the nomination.

“It was easy to reach out and regain what we had at the end of the primaries,” he said. “It came together very quick. I’ve just been very blessed.”

Despite Kuhn’s link with an extramarital affair, Blair believes people will not associate him with the former party nominee. Blair said he did enough to separate himself from Blair during the primaries.

“I think people have common sense,” he said. “I think that they’ll figure it out.”

There are still steps to be taken before Blair’s name is officially on the ballot, he said. Blair plans on meeting with Dee Brown, supervisor of elections in Marion County, soon.

Because of state law, Kuhn’s name will remain on the ballot in addition to Blair’s name as a new candidate.

To avoid confusion, Blair said Brown’s office will be taking precautions at all of the voting locations in November.

“They’re going to put posters up at all of the precincts so that people understand a vote for Dan Kuhn is a vote for Chris Blair,” he said.

Blair will run against Constitution Party candidate Bernie DeCastro in next month’s election.

Kelsey Meany wrote this story online.

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