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Mullendore elected Sheriff

November 08, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

The Washington County Sheriff's Department's second-highest ranking officer will be taking over for his boss.

Col. Douglas W. Mullendore beat out Republican challenger Rich Poffenberger, a Maryland State Police corporal, in Tuesday's general election.

Mullendore's boss, Charles Mades, has been sheriff for 20 years.

With all 50 precincts reporting, Mullendore led Poffenberger by 21,533 votes to 14,720, according to unofficial results.

According to Washington County Board of Elections figures, 4,037 absentee ballots were distributed, and 3,550 had been returned as of Tuesday evening.

"If it goes as stands, I congratulate Doug on a well-ran campaign," said Poffenberger, who thanked his supporters.

"We're going to continue to work on the gang and the drug problem in Washington County," Mullendore said late Tuesday. "The first thing that we need to get through, of course, is the budget process, and that comes up in December."

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The sheriff is elected to a four-year term. Mades, the current sheriff, makes a salary of $67,500, said Dee Hawbaker, the county's human resources administrator. The salary will increase to $80,000 when the new sheriff starts his term, she said.

Mades, who joined Mullendore at an election-night gathering, said he believes Mullendore is ready to move into the top role. Poffenberger and Mullendore were "two good candidates," he said.

A 29-year law enforcement veteran, Mullendore, 53, of Williamsport, has worked for the department for 25 years.

In his campaign, Poffenberger, 46, of Clear Spring, pushed for forming a criminal interdiction unit to identify and target drug traffickers and terrorist threats. He has been with the Maryland State Police for 28 years.

Like Poffenberger, Mades first ran for sheriff after a long tenure with the Maryland State Police. He announced last fall he would not seek a sixth term as sheriff.

According to Mullendore, the new term will begin after the governor has signed off on a certificate of qualification and he is sworn in. That could happen at the end of this month or early December, he said.

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