- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s appointment of Ken Mason as the new Kennebec County sheriff may face a legal challenge.

LePage appointed Mason rather than interim sheriff Ryan Reardon, who had been recommended by Kennebec County Democrats. Mason also is a Democrat.

A spokesperson for Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said Friday that Dunlap’s concerned LePage may not have the legal right to appoint someone whose name wasn’t submitted by the county party committee.

Maine law requires that the county party committee of the departing sheriff submit to the governor its recommendations for a replacement. The former sheriff, Randall Liberty, who left to become a prison warden, was a Democrat.

LePage said state statute requires the county party committee to recommend more than one person and the committee failed to do that.

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