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Process To Replace Former Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder Begins

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake County Democrats will soon begin the process of electing a replacement for former Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder. Winder officially stepped down from his position as sheriff in the state’s largest county on Sunday to become Moab’s Chief of Police.

Q. Dang is chair of Salt Lake County Democratic Party. He says party leaders expect a letter from the Salt Lake County Council early this week requesting a nomination. Once they receive the letter, Salt Lake County Democratic Party leaders have 30 days to elect a replacement and relay the name to the council.

“We’re just going to be as neutral as possible and let the candidates speak for themselves and if they have endorsements, that’s great,” Dang says. “But really what they’re going to be doing is campaigning to the central committee and trying to get people to vote for them when we meet either the 11th or the 12th of August.”

Dang says candidates will have 10 to 14 days to file and about two weeks to campaign before the committee votes. The victor will finish Winder’s term, which ends in November 2018.

Winder has said he would prefer someone who is not interested in running for re-election when the term is up, so they could focus on the jail instead of politics. Dang sees things differently.  

“From a strategic point of view, obviously I would prefer someone who is also interested in running in 2018,” Dang says. It just seems like if you are going to get some experience in the office, it would be prudent to extend that experience into the election.”

At least three people have announced their intent to run for Sheriff: Unified Deputy Police Chief Rosie Rivera, Unified police detective Ken Hansen and Utah Transit Authority Chief Fred Ross. 

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