Palmer to be next Windsor County sheriff   

  • Ryan Palmer campaigns on the Democratic primary ticket for Windsor County sheriff at the polls in Hartford, Vt., on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. Palmer won the Democratic primary and will face incumbent Republican Michael Chamberlain in the general election in November. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to James M. Patterson

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/9/2022 3:57:07 PM
Modified: 11/9/2022 3:57:10 PM

WOODSTOCK — Ludlow police officer Ryan Palmer handily defeated longtime Windsor County Sheriff Mike Chamberlain to become the next county sheriff, winning the race by a wide margin in which the challenger spent heavily his own money to unseat the incumbent with a message for change.

Windsor resident and Selectboard Chairman Palmer, 36 and running as a Democrat, received 15,629 votes, or 57.12%, compared to Chamberlain’s 9,824 votes, or 35.90%, according to preliminary results from the Vermont Secretary of State’s office.

Chamberlain, 74, was first elected Windsor County sheriff in 1978 and served for 16 years, after which he took a few years away before returning and winning reelection in 1998. He had not faced a challenger since 2003.

In a statement of concession, Chamberlain, a Woodstock resident, called his defeat nonetheless a “win for me personally. I get to slow down and spend time with my family” and noted he is “looking forward to a change in my daily focus.”

In the previous sheriff’s race four years ago, Chamberlain won 99.2% of the vote in the general election, receiving 20,720 votes in 2018 compared to 14,881 in 2014 and 18,398 in 2010.

During the primary in August, Palmer — who by that time had spent $25,000 of his own money on advertising — faced off against Thomas Battista, a 20-year deputy in the Windsor County sheriff’s department. Palmer received 4,366 votes, or 44.2%, compared with Battista, 56, of Springfield, Vt., who received 2,963 votes, or 29.9%.

Contact John Lippman at

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