Sheriff’s Office captain now has 3 lines , faces Winnie in November
HUDSON—In the contest for the Republican ballot line for sheriff in the November election, Sheriff’s Office Captain David Bartlett overwhelmingly won his party’s endorsement Tuesday over retired State Police Senior Investigator Gary Mazzacano.
Unofficial results of the countywide September 10 primary election posted on the Columbia County Board of Elections website report that Captain Bartlett captured 2,567 or 73% of the 3,516 votes cast compared to 942, or 27%, for Mr. Mazzacano. Seven write-in votes were counted, though who they were for is not yet available.
Mr. Bartlett, 52, who resides in Kinderhook, claimed victory in all but 4 of the 52 voting districts in the county.
Getting the good news amid a throng of supporters at the Vanderbilt House in Philmont Tuesday night, the captain told The Columbia Paper Wednesday morning that he was “very happy the people have spoken” and he looks forward to working with the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties in the general election. He will have the ballot lines of all three of those parties when he faces off against Democrat Mike Winnie in the November 5 election.
“This is my job, my career,” Mr. Bartlett said, noting he was “humbled” by the voter turnout, which he estimated at 33% of registered Republicans. He said some voting districts were running out of ballots to supply voters. “It speaks volumes about the support” he said.
County Elections Commissioner Virginia Martin (D) said Wednesday the final unofficial tally indicated that 29% of the 12,097 county voters registered as Republican had gone to the polls in the primary.
Expressing gratitude to his opponent, Mr. Bartlett said, “I want to thank Gary for being a gentleman throughout the campaign.” He said he and Mr. Mazzacano spoke early on in the process and both agreed to “keep it clean,” adding, “He kept his word on that and has been a friend and I appreciate it.”
Asked about his choice for undersheriff should he be elected, Mr. Bartlett noted, “I’m captain of the law enforcement division not the sheriff and won’t be making any decision about that until elected.” He did allow that there are “many qualified people” working at the Sheriff’s Office and that he is a big proponent of promoting from within.
Mr. Mazzacano issued a statement by email saying, “Obviously we are disappointed with the results. I would like to thank my grassroots committee, family, friends and all those who supported our efforts and voted to bring needed change.”
By phone Wednesday morning the veteran lawman said he knew he was “the underdog in this thing” and faced many obstacles, some imposed by his own party. For example, he said, party officials would not allow his campaign literature to be placed or available at the Republican booth at the County Fair.
Mr. Mazzacano forced a primary against Mr. Bartlett after the county Republican Committee decided in the spring to pick Mr. Bartlett as the paty’s nominee.
Asked what’s next, the 62-year-old Greenport native who serves as the town fire chief, said he will spend the day picking up campaign signs, then take some time off to relax by a lake in the Adirondacks.
To contact Diane Valden email .
What the sheriff does
THE SHERIFF is a “constitutional officer” and there has been one in Columbia County since 1772, even before the county was officially established, according to Sheriff David W. Harrison, Jr., who provided some background information about the job.
The sheriff oversees five divisions within the Sheriff’s Office:
*Law enforcement, which includes uniformed deputies, investigators and dispatchers
*Corrections, which includes maintenance of the 135-bed county jail
*Civil enforcement, handling court orders, sheriff’s sales, evictions and serving court papers
*Security services, a growing division that handles security at all county buildings, including the courthouse through a state contract, which provides for fund reimbursement
*Emergency management, which was consolidated with the Sheriff’s Office to ensure full-time staffing, the move has reduced costs and the EMO still has its own director.
The Sheriff’s Office has 115 full-time and 65 part-time employees.
Its annual operating budget is $10 million, which is less than 6.5% of the entire county budget. The agency brings in more than $1 million annually, which is generated partially by the jail, which charges to house inmates from other facilities in other counties that are overpopulated. Revenue also comes from civil fees and state juvenile food service reimbursement. “Any money we can get back, we go after,” said the sheriff.
The sheriff earns an annual salary of $92,000.–Diane Valden