On Monday, a 33-year employee of the Midland County Sheriff’s Office announced his candidacy for the position held by his late mentor, Sheriff Gary Painter.
Chief Deputy Rory McKinney had sought to be appointed by the Midland County Commissioners Court to serve in the unexpired term. After several meetings, however, the court could not come to an agreement and ultimately appointed Richard Gillette as sheriff.
The commissioners court had reportedly received strong backlash from residents who supported McKinney for the position.
Gillette will now serve in the position for the remainder of the unexpired term until the next sheriff is elected. Gillette is rumored to be uninterested in running to keep the position, which so far leaves McKinney unopposed in the race for the Republican nomination.
Since 1985, the Midland County Sheriff’s Office was led by Sheriff Gary Painter, McKinney’s mentor, who passed away this past May. Painter frequently made national news appearances and was well-regarded in the community for his service.