Livingston County Sheriff Race Heads To Polls

- Livingston County is in the market for a new sheriff.

Longtime Sheriff John York announced his retirement earlier this year after 24 years

Now two within the department will face off at the polls this week.

This week, republicans and conservatives in Livingston County will decide on who they want to see as the next Livingston County Sheriff.

"I think it just runs in our blood the public safety aspect, just being out there helping people," said Sgt. Tom Dougherty, (R,C) Livingston County Sheriff candidate.

Livingston county sheriff's investigator Tom Dougherty was just a boy when he dreamed of becoming a cop.

"It's really a changing of the guard and I think day one morale is going to increase which is obviously low right now. It's those new ideas and the next generation of law enforcement leading everyone," said Dougherty.

The SUNY Geneseo graduate studied business administration and worked in management for a limousine company.

He joined the Livingston County Sheriff's Office in 2005.

"The combination of my private sector and my public sector and my education does make me uniquely qualified," said Dougherty.

Undersheriff Jim Szczesniak also wants the top job.

The uniqueness of the police force is it's a different challenge every day," said Undersheriff Jim Szczesniak, (R,C) Livingston Sheriff candidate.

'His experience triples Dougherty

"I have spent my entire career in public safety, I am not a politician. During the process said this all along, I want to become an elected official, I do not want to become a politician," said Szczesniak

Dougherty wants to change response procedures and have police agencies collaborate more.

That drug task force is just in starting phase and we need to improve upon it,' said Dougherty.

Szczeniak has long-term visions. He wants public safety to stay affordable while up to date.

"One of our biggest challenges is going to be the 911 center - technology is changing,” said Szczesniak.

He said he wants to make sure funding is received for upgrades from the state and federal government.

Both candidates say they have worked to keep politics out of the office but it's not been easy.

If conservatives and republicans split the vote Tuesday - they could face off in a general election.

Dougherty says if he doesn't win the primaries, he still wants to run as an independent.

The undersheriff is challenging that.

"We are in this to win it, there is no question about that," said Szczesniak.

"I am confident that we have a ton of support, we just need to get our people to the polls," said Dougherty.

The primary is set for this Tuesday.

Polls will be open from noon until 9 pm.

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