Madera Co. taps Sheriff Varney to serve as County administrator

Madera County is no longer on the hunt for a Chief Administrative Officer, but will soon have a new vacancy: Sheriff.

Wednesday, Madera County’s Board of Supervisors announced it offered the Chief Administrative Officer position to Jay Varney, currently serving Maderans as its County Sheriff.

Darin McCandless is currently serving as interim Chief Administrative Officer.

“All members of the Board feel strongly about Sheriff Varney’s integrity, leadership, and commitment to making Madera County the best county in which to live, work, and play,” said Board Chairman David Rogers.

Varney will be formally appointed to the position during the Madera County Board of Supervisors meeting on June 2. He will resign his post as Madera County Sheriff, an elected position.

Varney was elected in 2014, replacing long-time Sheriff John Anderson. He was most recently re-elected in 2018.

Because Madera is general law county, there will be no special election for Varney’s seat.

Madera’s Board of Supervisors will have the authority to appoint Varney’s successor to the Sheriff post for the remainder of his term, set to expire in 2022.

Varney served with the Dallas Police Department and Lansing, Mich. Police Department before taking on a role as Police Chief and City Administrator for the City of Chowchilla.

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at