Candidates to replace Columbia County sheriff submitted

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DAYTON — The Columbia County Republican Party central committee has named two candidates to replace Sheriff Walt Hessler, who is retiring in June.

Central committee members held a special session Friday night in Dayton to choose candidates, said Tom Bensel, Columbia County Republican Party chairman. A total of five candidates, all men, submitted letters of intent and resumes, he said.

At Friday’s meeting, each candidate was given time to make a presentation followed by a question-and-answer period with committee members. After the interviews, the committee voted and selected the candidates to submit to commissioners.

Bensel declined to release the names of the candidates today.

“We decided to defer (identifying them) until the commissioners make the decision,” he said.

The committee has sent a letter to commissioners submitting the names of the candidates, which commissioners will probably get today. The commissioners are expected to meet Wednesday to decide on selecting a replacement for Hessler, Bensel said.

Whoever is selected to replace Hessler will serve out the remaining 18 months of Hessler’s term in office.

Hessler has served as sheriff since 2007. He announced his intention to retire at a county commission meeting in January.

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