Somerset County Chief Deputy Dale Lancaster won the race for county sheriff on Tuesday with more than 60 percent of the vote, but said he was disappointed by ethical issues surrounding the campaign.

Kris McKenna, a Waterville police officer who ran against Lancaster, said media reporting on the campaign was biased, but did not keep him from getting his message out to the electorate.

McKenna said there was “nothing objective” in the Morning Sentinel’s reporting of the campaign.

“I think I did very well for what I had,” said McKenna, 38, of Skowhegan. “I didn’t have a political party backing. I got to say what I had to say and it was a great experience. I think if you look at the ideas, they are better ideas. It’s just a way to change things up in this county that’s being blasted with mill devaluations.”

The Somerset County charter, adopted in 2010, forbids political party affiliation for candidates running for any county office.

Lancaster said he plans to change operations at the sheriff’s office once he is sworn in January, but he would not elaborate Thursday. He said he has a chief deputy in mind to take over his current job, but would not provide a name. He said he will appoint someone to fill the post in early December.

Lancaster, who has 40 years of law enforcement and administrative experience, said he was disappointed by negative aspects of the campaign.

The wife of a Kennebec County sheriff’s captain who was a McKenna supporter filed a federal election complaint against Lancaster, then was caught using a fake name to alert media about it.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel rejected the complaint from Sharon Picard, which alleged Lancaster violated the federal Hatch Act by using his office to campaign.

“What has transpired has been the voice of the people, but anyone takes pause when their character is in question,” Lancaster said.

Picard is the wife of Kennebec County Capt. Dennis Picard, who is a friend and an active supporter of McKenna. Dennis Picard later was placed on administrative leave with pay while the department conducts an internal investigation.

Picard’s leave began Oct. 24, the same day the Morning Sentinel reported that his wife filed the unsuccessful complaint against Lancaster.

Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty said Thursday he expects the internal investigation to conclude next week. Liberty said he could not discuss details of the investigation until it is completed.

The Picard incident was followed 10 days later by an anonymous email blast, purporting to be in support of McKenna’s campaign, to more than 100 county and nearly 250 school district email boxes.

The county’s technical services director said it cost several hundred dollars to delete and clear the emails, which were considered unwanted spam.

McKenna said he had no part in the email blast, that he did not know who the sender was and that the emails seemed to be aimed at derailing his campaign by making him appear to be unethical.

Lancaster also said he had no knowledge of the emails or the person who sent them.

Emails addressed to the sender by the Morning Sentinel were never returned.

Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at:

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