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LaFarr, Lamouree

Warren County sheriff's Major Jim LaFarr, left, and Undersheriff Shawn Lamouree. Lamouree has decided to halt his campaign for county sheriff against LaFarr.

Warren County Undersheriff Shawn Lamouree has decided to halt his campaign for county sheriff, saying he plans to retire from the Sheriff’s Office and take a new job in the private sector in the coming months.

He said losing the Republican primary in June felt like “a punch in the stomach” at first, but within 48 hours he realized there were many opportunities for a second career available for him.

Lamouree has agreed to join Capital Gun Group of Albany as a vice president, helping run the company that operates a number of firearms-oriented businesses in New York and Vermont, including Adirondack Gun & Range on Route 9 in Queensbury.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for me,” he said. “In the end, it turned out to be a good thing.”

Lamouree lost the Republican primary to sheriff’s Maj. Jim LaFarr 2,466 to 1,388 in June, but will be on the ballot in November on the Independence Party line despite his announcement to no longer campaign. The two were vying to replace Sheriff Bud York, who opted not to run for a fourth term in office.

LaFarr has chosen former sheriff’s Investigator Terry Comeau to serve as his undersheriff, and Lamouree’s position is an appointed one so it is not protected by civil service regulations that would allow him to keep his job. He had been a lieutenant when appointed undersheriff, but does not have the ability to retain that position.

He said the first 24 hours after the primary were tough, and the process left him with some bad feelings about politicians and the political realm. But he said he had an “epiphany” within days, as other opportunities opened up, that the end of his career in public service would not necessarily be a bad thing.

He said he has about $5,000 left over in his campaign funds, which he plans to donate to the scholarship offered at Queensbury High School for the late former sheriff’s Sgt. Brett Flaherty, who died in 2016.

“Brett was a great guy who would give you the shirt off his back,” Lamouree said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Warren County Independence Party Chairman Matt McDonald said he understood Lamouree’s decision, and that he had to do what he felt was best for his family.

“We respect his decision,” McDonald said. “Shawn has always been a professional and has served our community to the umpteenth degree.”

LaFarr said he was “pleased” to learn the campaign would not continue and a transition to a new sheriff could begin. But he said he still plans to get out and meet voters before the election.

“It is great for our campaign team and Warren County. Now the employees of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office can exhale knowing the heated part of the race is behind us. We will also have two additional months to work together for a smooth transition,” he said “We’re excited for the opportunities 2020 has in store for Warren County, but we know there is still much to do this fall. We have a solid campaign plan and will be sticking to it. I will be knocking on doors and personally connecting with as many Warren County residents as possible.”

York said Lamouree’s departure is a “huge loss for the county” but he was sure Lamouree would do well in the next phase of his career. He added that he and Lamouree will work with LaFarr to help him prepare for 2020.

Lamouree, 52, has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1988 and has been York’s undersheriff since 2012, after Robert Swan retired. He worked his way up through the department’s ranks, starting as a road patrol officer after graduating from SUNY Brockport.

He has been overseeing the department’s $24 million budget, managing the agency’s vehicle fleet and emergency response team and handling union negotiations, as well as overseeing the school resource program and grant applications.

He said a timetable for his retirement was still to be determined.

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reporter - crimes & courts, public safety and Warren County government

Don Lehman covers crime, Warren County government and the outdoors for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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