Bowen has been elected 11 times, most times running against opponents and easily winning. If he ran again this year, it would have been his 12th term.
Bowman did not make a public announcement until first informing the Republican chair and then a few close friends, including Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy, III.
“It has been my privilege to work with Sheriff Jim Bowen for the last 25 years. He is one of the most honest, ethical and hardworking public servants I know,” said Murphy, adding that Bowen has been invaluable help to him over the last 25 years he has been in office.
“He is a close friend and I have called upon him to provide counsel in a number of criminal cases over the years. He works tirelessly to ensure that the Sheriff’s Department is a professional, accredited and highly regarded law enforcement agency,” continued Murphy. “While I respect his decision not to seek reelection, I will miss his extraordinary experience, insight and knowledge, as well as our partnership and our commitment to working together to achieve public safety.”
Bowen joined the Sheriff’s Department in 1965 as a deputy. He was promoted to investigator and then undersheriff. He became sheriff in 1972 when then-sheriff, Lee A. Sherer, died just days before the election. Sherer was re-elected anyway, so Governor Nelson Rockefeller appointed him sheriff. He was elected the following year.
Last Wednesday, he said he made the decision to not seek re-election after talking with his wife and family and receiving a “clean bill of health” from his doctor.