Former Bangor police chief bows out of sheriff’s race after cancer returns

Posted Feb. 22, 2014, at 8:15 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A former Bangor police chief who announced plans to run for the Penobscot County sheriff’s seat earlier this month has withdrawn from the race after learning cancer has resurfaced in his lungs.

“Out of fairness to the citizens of Penobscot County, I need to drop out of the race,” Don Winslow said Thursday night in a posting on his campaign Facebook page.

In his post, Winslow said he started feeling discomfort in his chest a couple weeks ago and went to see his doctor on Feb. 12. He had fluid drained from his lungs, but a biopsy “confirmed what we all feared, my cancer had resurfaced. This time it was in my lungs and because of its location surgery is not an option.”

Attempts to reach Winslow since his announcement have been unsuccessful, but he recently sat down for a television interview to discuss his decision.

Both Winslow and his wife, Dora, of Hermon have had bouts with cancer in the past. Early in 2012, they both celebrated their NED status, meaning they showed “no evidence of disease.”

“I am a fighter so I am not throwing the towel in yet,” Winslow wrote. “I knew there was a 40 percent chance that it would come back; I am pleased that statistically I may have saved someone else.”

Winslow kept a sense of humor throughout the posting, adding that he considered staying in the race and using slogans like “Elect Don Winslow for sheriff — dead or alive.”

He ultimately decided that his battle with cancer would need to be his focus.

Winslow thanked his friends and supporters: “Your kind words have filled my heart. I know I am not starting this new journey alone, nor will I finish it alone,” he wrote. “Please do not feel sad for me, for I have been blessed.”

Two other candidates — Troy Morton, the sheriff’s chief deputy since 2003, and Allen Stehle, Beal College president and a former chief deputy with 30 years in law enforcement — have announced their plans to run.

Sheriff Glenn Ross said in late January that he wouldn’t run for a fourth term in office, bringing to an end his 36-year career in law enforcement.