Local News

January 17, 2013

Essex County fails to reappoint election chief

Essex Board didn't act onGOP recommendation

ELIZABETHTOWN — It’s not certain why Essex County Republican Election Commissioner Derinda Sherman wasn’t reappointed, but it’s too late now.

Sherman’s term was up at the end of 2012, and although the Essex County Republican Committee recommended her reappointment, it was never brought to a vote at a County Board of Supervisors session.

County Democratic Election Commissioner Robert Pell-deChame of Ticonderoga was nominated for a new two-year term and reappointed in December.

But the deadline to act on the Republican Committee’s recommendation for Sherman expired Jan. 14, so the appointment goes back to the GOP leadership for another try.

That’s expected to be made Tuesday, Jan. 22, when the County Republican Committee holds its first meeting of the New Year.

By law, although her term has expired, Sherman can serve until someone else is appointed.

She said no one has given her a reason why the board didn’t act on her appointment, and she doesn’t want to speculate.

“I don’t want to comment,” she said. “I may be bringing litigation.”


Only one person has asked to be considered for the part-time, $18,000-a-year post at this point: Allison McGahay of Lake Placid, an attorney who is a former Essex County assistant district attorney.

Two other candidates, Noel Merrihew III, a former Elizabethtown town supervisor; and Lane Sayward, a former Willsboro town councilor; withdrew their names from consideration earlier this week.

People who want the job, said Republican Committee Chairman Ronald Jackson, should let him know as soon as possible.

“Anybody interested should get a letter out to the committee by the 22nd,” he said. “I sent a letter out advising everyone of the process.”

He said they’ll ask those interested to make brief presentations at the committee meeting, then members will vote on who to recommend.

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