PARIS — A write-in candidate and a corporal in the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office is challenging his boss, Sheriff Christopher Wainwright, in next week’s Republican primary.

Richard Murray, 50, of Fryeburg acknowledged he has a huge mountain to climb as a write-in candidate.

“It’s a big thing to challenge an incumbent, not to mention not being on the ballot,” Murray said. “I’m willing to take that challenge.”

Wainwright is seeking his second term. He has served in the Sheriff’s Office for 32 years, working in the patrol division and in criminal investigations. He was the department’s interim chief deputy for more than nine months when he was elected sheriff in 2018. Wainwright has also served 20 years in the Army Reserve, including tours in Kosovo and Iraq.

Cpl. Murray has worked for the Sheriff’s Office since 2013. He previously worked about 10 years for the Fryeburg Police Department. He received his start in law enforcement as a corrections officer in Androscoggin County in the 1990s. He is a selectman in Fryeburg and is assistant public safety director for the Fryeburg Fair.

Among the changes Murray would like to implement is what he describes as the need for better communication with community leaders and better recruitment, training and retention of staff.

“The last thing I want to do is to divide the agency,” Murray said about facing his boss in the primary. “It’s nothing personal.”

The statewide primary elections are Tuesday, June 14.

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