A total of eight residents from Charles Town, four from Kearneysville, two from Harpers Ferry and one each from Millville and Shepherdstown tossed their hats into the ring of candidates for the Jefferson County Commission to review.
"I think we have a pretty diverse group, and I think there are a lot of worthy candidates," Jefferson County Commission president Dale Manuel said Friday.
The commissioners met last Friday to discuss how the county will move forward with the final list of 16 applications. It plans to meet March 5 to conduct the selection process.
The commission decided Friday that each commissioner will write a list of their individual top three choices out of the 16. The commission as a whole will then look at the names listed by each commissioner and make choices based on the lists.
The commission hopes to interview just three candidates, but it could be more depending on how the selections of the commissioners line up, Manuel said.
Applicants are required by West Virginia code to be registered Democrats, because former Sheriff Robert "Bobby" Shirley was of that party. The candidates also have to live in Jefferson County and hold a high school diploma.
Other requirements for the position can be determined by the county commission.
The following names appear on the list of candidates: Earl Ballenger, Everett Boober, Louis Brunswick, Francis Post Casto, Peter Dougherty, Ronald Fletcher, Karen Starr Manuel-Gregoryk, Stephen Groh, Gerald Koogle Sr., Willard Liston, Kenneth Mills, Amanda Piatt, Mimi Rogers, Walter Smallwood III, David Tabb and Clifford Taylor.
Shirley defeated Boober in the 2012 primary election before defeating Ballenger in the general election. Ballenger, who lost the election on the Republican ticket, has since changed his party affiliation to apply for the opening.
The new sheriff will serve the reminder of former Sheriff Shirley's term, and will be required to run again for office in 2014.
Former Sheriff Shirley resigned from his position Jan. 11, three days before pleading guilty to one county of deprivation of rights under the color of law. The charges stem from a Dec. 2010 incident involving a bank robbery chase.