BY MICHAEL J. RUDOLF
Wyoming County Press Examiner
The primary election on Tuesday, May 17, will see four people running for Wyoming County Sheriff, three Republicans and one Democrat.
They are seeking to replace Richard Montross, who is not running for re-election.
The candidates in alphabetical order include:
Jeff Helwig of Forkston Township, Republican.
Helwig served as deputy sheriff from 1996 to 2001, attaining the rank of sergeant. In 1998, he became certified as a law enforcement defensive tactics instructor.
In 2001, he left the sheriff’s office to become an instructor for the Pennsylvania Deputy Sheriff’s Basic Training Academy at Penn State. He served as the head instructor for six years, supervising 18 instructors under him. During that time, he trained and certified more than 1,000 deputy sheriffs and many police and corrections officers.
Helwig has numerous certifications in law enforcement, including some from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency; Pennsylvania Deputy Sheriff’s Education and Training Board; Penn State Justice and Safety Institute; Pennsylvania State Police and others. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Michelle Hillard of Meshoppen, Republican.
Hillard, a resident of Wyoming County for 10 years, has been a deputy sheriff in Susquehanna County for the past four years. She comes from a family of law enforcement officers.
Hillard graduated in 2003 from the Act 120 Police Academy at Lackawanna College. She started working as a police officer in Susquehanna Borough and Montrose Borough.. She obtained a part-time position with the sheriff’s office, and became full-time in 2007.
For the past three years with the sheriff’s office, Hillard has been a K-9 handler with her dog, “Cash.” She also works with the Susquehanna County Drug and DUI Task Force.
In addition, Hillard is an active member of the Meshoppen Fire and Ambulance Company.
Duane Marbaker Jr. of Washington Township, Democratic.
Marbaker currently works as a corrections officer at the Wyoming County Correctional Facility. He is a 2003 graduate of Tunkhannock Area High School. He also graduated from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Training Academy.
In addition, Marbaker works for local bond companies in fugitive recovery.
Marbaker is a member of the FWM Emergency Squad and had been an emergency medical technician with the Mercy Tyler Hospital EMS unit. He has been a volunteer firefighter with the Meshoppen Fire Department since 200, and holds a Certificate in Essentials of Firefighting and an OSHA certification as an incident investigator.
D.J., as he is known, and his fiancée have three children, Patrick, Matthew and Abigail.
Edward “Ned” Sherman of Tunkhannock Township, Republican.
Sherman has been a deputy sheriff for the past year. Prior to that, he has worked as a police officer for 29 years in several Wyoming County municipalities, including Factoryville Borough, Tunkhannock Borough and Tunkhannock Township.
Sherman is a 1972 graduate of Lackawanna Trail High School, and graduated from the Act 120 Municipal Police Academy. He is also certified as a firearms instructor by the Pennsylvania State Police.
In addition, Sherman is a life member of the Factoryville Fire Company, having served with the company for 37 years. He is assistant chief and trustee.
Sherman and his wife of 26 years, Karen Dickson, have two children, Brielle and Diandra.
On the Republican ballot, Helwig will be listed first, followed by Sherman and Hillard.