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Many considering run for Oneida County Sheriff

By By JOLEEN FERRIS

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Within hours of announcing that he would not seek a fifth term as Oneida County Sheriff, the field of candidates interested in replacing Sheriff Dan Middaugh had swelled to five.

"I've been considering a run for roughly 10 years and now is definitely the time. I will be making a formal announcement next week," said New York Mills Mayor and Whitesboro Police Officer Robert Maciol - a democrat - who was interested in the post in 2006.

Utica Public Safety Commissioner Daniel LaBella, a democrat, said Tuesday is Middaugh's day.

"Now is not the time to be talking about Dan LaBella and what he will do," LaBella said. "We should be talking about Dan Middaugh and his time serving the past 40 years protecting the community."

Oneida County Democratic Chairman Bill Barry said the party's candidate will have to be well-rounded.

"Somebody that's a business person," Barry said. "He's the sheriff and he's the law enforcement officer but he has to run a business. That's a big budget up there so somebody who's got some business experience, some experience running a business. But he's got to have a law background I think."

Several Republican are interested in a possible run for sheriff - among them Assemblyman David Townsend.

"I never lost my desire for a career in law enforcement or my love for the sheriff's department," Townsend said.

Former Utica Public Safety Commissioner Philip Taurisano may also contemplate a run.

"First, I want to congratulate the sheriff on a well-deserved retirement," Taurisano said. "I've received numerous calls from people asking me to consider a run for sheriff. I appreciate the support and will consider a run for sheriff. I appreciate the support and will consider all the input i receive. I'm extremely happy at my current job but I still have law enforcement in my heart."

Rome Public Safety Commissioner James Masucci said he is not ruling out a run.

Oneida County Republican Chair George Joseph said the party looks for two attributes in a potential candidate.

"We strive to have electability and sensibility and rarely do we have both. Fortunately when you have a wider field, we can aspire to have sensibility and electability," Joseph said.

Both Joseph and Barry hope to announce which candidates will get the party support by the end of March.

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