Marion County names 7 candidates for new sheriff

The Marion County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday announced seven candidates who applied to complete the term of Sheriff Joe Kast who plans to retire at the end of June.

Commissioners will interview the candidates next Wednesday, June 7, and appoint Kast’s successor that afternoon, according to a county news release.

The board said candidates who applied include Christopher Baldridge, director of safety and risk management services for the Salem-Keizer School District, and Sgt. Donald E. Parise of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Operations Division. Candidates also include five officers in the sheriff’s office Enforcement Division: Lt. T. Shane Burnham, Lt. Nicholas Hunter and deputies Chad Jones, Chris Kennedy and Stacy Rejaian.

Commissioners will start candidate interviews at 8:30 a.m. on June 7 in the Senator Hearing Room at Courthouse Square, 555 Court St. N.E. Capital Community Media will broadcast the interviews live on its YouTube channel

The new sheriff will be sworn in on June 30.

Kast announced his retirement publicly in a news release on May 4 after a three-decade career in law enforcement.

When there is a vacancy in an elected county office, the board appoints a successor to fill the seat until the next general election, according to the news release.

People can submit written comments by emailing [email protected]. Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 2.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.