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Former state trooper to run for sheriff

Rich Cholodofsky
| Sunday, June 10, 2012, 4:25 p.m.

Former state police trooper Paul McCommons announced Tuesday he will run as a Democrat for Westmoreland County sheriff in the May 17 primary.

McCommons, 68, of Unity served 32 years with state police based in Greensburg and more than two decades as president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 62.

"With my background, I feel I can be of service to the community. I feel I have something to offer for the citizens here," McCommons said.

McCommons pledged that as sheriff, he would institute programs to protect senior citizens from scams and thefts, to address bullying and drugs in schools and to facilitate the monitoring of convicted sex offenders.

He said he first contemplated running for the sheriff's job a decade ago, shortly after his retirement from the state police, but decided against it because of the competition for the post that year.

Chris Scherer won election to sheriff that year and served a decade in office before resigning in late 2009 after he won election as a Common Pleas Court judge. Scherer's replacement, Acting Sheriff Charles Moore of Ruffsdale, said he won't seek election to a full four-year term.

McCommons is the third Democrat to announce his candidacy for sheriff.

Penn Township businessman Al Lonzo and former Upper Burrell Supervisor Michael P. Conley previously announced they will run in the primary for sheriff.

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