Mercer sheriff resigning

Mercer County Sheriff Kevin Larkin, a Democrat, is resigning three days before Election Day.

“He’s resigning, effective Oct. 30th,” Sheriff’s Office Spokesman William Esterman told  

Esterman cited personal and family as the reasons.

First Undersheriff John Kemler will serve as acting sheriff until Gov. Chris Christie appoints a replacement, Esterman said.

The sheriff’s resignation comes in the middle of two key races in Mercer County: a 12th District Congressional contest and a senate contest in the 14th District legislative.

Larkin was due up for re-election next year on a ticket with Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes.

“He’s made that decision; he has already sent a letter to the governor,” said Hughes. “My understanding of the law is the governor gets to decide on his replacement, and my reading of the law says the governor has to appoint a Democrat.”

In a formal statement from the sheriff’s office Friday afternoon, Larkin acknowledged that he notified Christie that he will “immediately” step down from his elected position to attend to his family.

“I respect the decision the sheriff has made. Obviously it was a personal choice and one that was made with great deliberation. Kevin Larkin has faced a number of personal hardships and challenges in recent years, and I wish him only the best, said Hughes.

Larkin served as sheriff since Jan. 1, 2003.

Mercer sheriff resigning