A man appointed last week by Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage to fill a vacant county sheriff's seat is withdrawing after Democrats threatened to challenge the legality of his appointment.
The move late Wednesday by Ken Mason ends a potential legal fight between the governor and the Kennebec (KEH'-nuh-bek) County Democratic Committee and leaves interim Sheriff Ryan Reardon at the helm.
LePage appointed Mason rather than Reardon, who had been recommended by county Democrats.
State law requires the county party committee of the departing sheriff to submit to the governor its recommendations for a replacement.
Former sheriff Randall Liberty was a Democrat. He left to become a prison warden.