Interim Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher has been ranked as the top candidate to replace Steve Keane by the county’s Republican Party.
Hatcher, Kennewick police Sgt. Ken Lattin and sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Bob Brockman are all vying for the job.
They were interviewed by the party’s nominating committee and scored on 21 evaluation criteria for a maximum score of 210 points possible, said Bill Berkman, Benton County Republican Party chairman. Each was asked 12 questions and provided a statement.
Hatcher scored 197.4 points, Lattin 165 and Brockman 156.6.
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Keane retired April 1 to recover from his fight with cancer. Hatcher was appointed as interim sheriff until the county commissioners decide on his replacement.
Keane is a Republican, and by law his political party gets to submit three candidates to the county commissioners for consideration.
The commissioners were initially scheduled to make a decision April 11. They are scheduling individual interviews with the three candidates for early May.
Whoever is selected will be required to run for election this fall, and again at the end of Keane’s unfinished term in 2018.
Both Hatcher and Lattin have said they intend to run for office this fall.