Dems recommend Anderson to replace Clark as sheriff

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BRATTLEBORO — The Windham County Democratic Committee is recommending Gov. Phil Scott appoint Mark Anderson to replace Windham County Sheriff Keith Clark, who recently announced his resignation, effective July 1.

Anderson, who is a captain with the Windham County Sheriff 's Office, was also Clark's choice to replace him.

"With this decision, Anderson's name will be sent to the governor for final consideration," wrote John Hagen, chairman of the Windham County Democratic, in a press release announcing the recommendation.

Before he announced his resignation in April, Clark phoned the Governor and recommended Anderson.

"I am pleased to see the Democratic Committee, sees the same strengths and attributes I have observed in Mark in the last 13 years," Clark told the Reformer. "I am sure Governor Scott will also find him to be the perfect choice for appointment as the sheriff of Windham County. Mark understands the challenges of being the sheriff, and I believe he is fully prepared to take the office."

Bellows Falls Police Chief Ron Lake had thrown his hat in for consideration but, wrote Hagen, "[H]is name was not forwarded to the Governor."

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The need for a replacement was driven by Clark's announcement that he was retiring to join his wife, who moved in 2017 to North Carolina to work for PCL, the company that designed and built the Interstate 91 bridge over the West River in Brattleboro. In the November 2018 election, Clark had been re-elected to the position running on the Democratic ticket. After Clark announced his retirement, Scott's office contacted the WCDC for recommended candidates. Since the sheriff is a four-year elected position, Clark's replacement will be serving the final three-and-a-half years of the term starting in July.

In the process of identifying candidates, noted Hagen, the WCDC solicited comments from the public and hosted a listening session to hear issues of concern and importance to community members.

In addition, he wrote, the WCDC reviewed the applications from Anderson and Lake and held extended meetings with both candidates before arriving at its final recommendation.

Anderson, a resident of Vernon, has served in the Windham County Sheriff's Office for 14 years and is currently the second-in-command. He is a graduate of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Management.

"I am humbled by the nomination of the Democratic Committee and look forward to this exciting opportunity as the sole nominee for the Governor's consideration," Anderson told the Reformer. "I respect the Governor's right and freedom to choose whomever he desires, But I believe that I would serve the role faithfully and with energy."

Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 151, or raudette@reformer.com.


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