Short List of Republicans Being Considered for Montco Sheriff's Replacement

Republican meetings this week will likely determine the replacement for Eileen Whalon Behr, Montco's top law enforcement official.

Sheriff Eileen Behr (Patch file photo)
Sheriff Eileen Behr (Patch file photo)
By Brittany Tressler

Montgomery County Republicans are gathering Tuesday night for the first of two meetings that will likely determine the candidate to replace Montgomery County Sheriff Eileen Behr, who resigned her post on Dec. 20 for a position with Drexel University.

Retired Norristown Police Chief Russell Bono is rumored as being the front-runner, according to Republican sources. 

Mike Brennan, a former Sheriff’s Deputy who lost to former Sheriff John Durante in the 2003 Republican Primary and ran an endorsement race against Behr in 2011, also has his hat in the ring.

Joe Messina, who recently worked as court crier in Montgomery County, also is being considered.

Gov. Tom Corbett is tasked with appointing a new sheriff, who must be a Republican. Before that happens, a search committee has been designated by Montgomery County Republican Committee Chairman Mike Vereb to evaluate potential candidates, and the Montgomery County Republican Committee’s executive committee will vote to recommend one candidate.

According to correspondence from the Montgomery County Republican Committee,  District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman is heading up a search committee that will interview candidates on Tuesday. The committee includes Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor, attorney Maureen Coggins, Tom Medwid, president of the Police Chiefs Association, West Norriton Township Commissioner Stephen Tolbert, Jr., MCRC Treasurer-Secretary Robert Griffith and MCRC Area Leader John Egan.

On Wednesday, the MCRC Executive Committee, composed of 15 area leaders and five at-large members, will vote on a recommendation.

Vereb will take the vote under consideration, and will draft a letter to Corbett with his recommendation for the nomination.

The nomination also requires confirmation in the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Senate.


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