Grear apparently had wanted to challenge Ernest Palmer of Lewiston in the GOP sheriff’s primary, but it appears now there won’t be a primary. Beilein, who was announced several months ago as a nominee for chairman of the State Commission on Corrections, is still in office.
If Beilein isn’t confirmed by the Senate before July 10, which is the last day to hand in nominating petitions for the primary, there won’t be a primary because there officially won’t be a vacancy. If Beilein moves up to state office after July 10, political parties will be able to choose their nominees without holding primaries.Here's where things get a little fuzzy: Grear accused Maziarz of holding up Beilein’s nomination, but Governor David Paterson has yet to submit Beilein’s name to the Senate for consideration. But, that's a minor aspect of the discussion.
The one who is truly denying Brian Grear the opportunity to run for Sheriff is Beilein himself. Grear stated that because there is no vacancy, he can't run, and that's true. But Tom Beilein is the only one who has direct control over that, not David Paterson and not George Maziarz.
We all know that this Beilein appointment is coming. Only Beilein can make the determination as to when he leaves his current post. Could it be that Beilein is holding up his appointment to screw Grear? Well, considering Grear and Beilein pretty much despise each other, the fact that Grear has sued Beilein, and Grear had the audacity to challenge Beilein last election, it seems like a pretty good possibility.
Tom Beilein loses nothing by resigning his current post now and opening up the race to anyone who wants to get in. But this is politics, and as we've said before, it's not always pretty. Would Beilein stick it to Grear by delaying his own appointment a month or two? You're damn right he would, and that's why Beilein is such an effective politician.