Gallant announces re-election bid for Oxford County sheriff

by Peter McGuire, Staff Writer Sun Journal Jan. 6, 2014

PARIS — Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant announced Friday his bid for re-election to a third four-year term as Oxford County's top cop.Sheriff Wayne Gallant

Although the only candidate so far to register with the state's election ethics commission, Michael Parshall, a Monmouth police officer from Upton, announced his intention to challenge Gallant for the position earlier this year.

Gallant, 64, of Rumford has served in the office for nearly eight years, since his election in 2006. If re-elected, he said he hopes to continue growing the department and making it more visible in the county.

"We've seen a lot of good changes, and I hope to continue going on the track and trend we're on," Gallant said.

Among the accomplishments of his second term, Gallant mentioned expanding patrol coverage into underserved parts of the county, securing a contract for law enforcement coverage in Bethel and bolstering the department's criminal investigations division with four detectives authorized to conduct statewide investigations.

An Army veteran, Gallant has worked in law enforcement for almost 40 years. He served on the Rumford Police Department for 25 years. Shortly before his election to sheriff in 2006 he left Rumford PD to become chief of police in Wilton. 

During the 2006 election Gallant defeated challenger Chris Wainwright, who currently serves as a captain with the Oxford County Sheriff's Office, by more than 2,000 votes. He ran unopposed in the 2010 elections.

Gallant filed as a Democrat with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices on Dec. 27. He said he will soon begin circulating petitions to qualify for the June primaries.

On Friday, Michael Parshall said he intended to file with the ethics commission as a Republican and begin circulating his own petition within the next week.

Parshall said he was concerned with the growth of the Sheriff's Office's annual budget and disagreed with Gallant's decision to abandon a call-sharing agreement with the Maine State Police less than two months ago.

He believes the OCSO can be run more efficiently under his leadership and said becoming county sheriff has always been a goal of his.

A current Monmouth police officer, Parshall served with the Lewiston Police Department for 24 years before retiring in 2009.

Following his retirement from Lewiston Police Department, he served as a Oxford County deputy from 2009 to 2012. After retiring a second time, he became a truck driver for a short time before rejoining law enforcement, he said.

Candidates for the sheriff's office are required to submit petitions to the Maine Secretary of State's Office by March 17 in order to qualify for the June primary elections. The general election will be held in November.