Reporter Carl Hessler Jr. of The Mercury is reporting that retired Whitemarsh Police Chief Eileen W. Behr has been confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate as the new Montgomery County sheriff.
The Republican-controlled Senate voted along party lines (30-20) on Tuesday to confirm Behr's nomination to fill the unexpired term of the late Sheriff John P. Durante, 60, of Conshohocken, who died of a heart attack while in office on Feb. 10, 2010, according to Montgomery County Republican Committee Executive Director Brittany Tressler.
Behr will serve as sheriff for the remainder of 2011. She is the first woman to hold the position.
Behr, 54, of Lafayette Hill, is the endorsed GOP candidate in the May 17 primary. Her opponent for the Republican primary nomination is Robert J. Durante, 58, of Norristown, a retired 33-year veteran of the sheriff's department. (Durante is no relation to the late Sheriff Durante).
The winner of the GOP nomination will face Democrat William A. Holt Jr., 65, a retired detective sergeant with the Abington Police Department. He is the only Democrat running for sheriff.
Democratic Party bosses have been whining that Behr now has an unfair advantage because she will hold the office of sheriff for the rest of the year. The very same party bosses had no problems when Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell appointed Democrats to fill vacancies over the past eight years.