Democrat narrowly beats incumbent in Orange County sheriff race

  • George Contois (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/9/2022 2:56:02 PM
Modified: 11/9/2022 3:08:09 PM

Part-time sheriff’s deputy George Contois unseated his boss, longtime Orange County Sheriff Bill Bohnyak, by a sliver of 102 votes in preliminary results in the race for Orange County Sheriff.

Contois received 6,602 votes, or 46.66% of the total, compared with incumbent Bohnyak’s 6,500 votes, or 45.94%, according to numbers from the Vermont secretary of state’s office on Wednesday.

The potential threat Contois’ challenge posed to Bohnyak, who has been sheriff of Orange County for 15 years and hasn’t faced an challenger since he was first elected in 2006, was foreshadowed during the August primary when Contois, 72, received 2,478 votes as a Democrat, more than twice as many as the 1,155 votes Bohnyak, 65, received as a Republican, according to Vermont Secretary of State office records.

Contois, a Washington resident and retired trooper with the Vermont State Police, ran a bare-bones campaign spending only a few hundred dollars on signs but was vocal in criticizing Bohnyak for what Contois argued was inefficient allocation of department resources and misplaced priorities.

Official election results will be posted by the secretary of state’s office on Nov. 15 following canvassing of clerks.

Neither Contois nor Bohnyak immediately responded to messages for comment on Wednesday.

Contact John Lippman at

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