Sheriff candidates make their cases in debate

Three candidates for Jefferson County sheriff faced off in a debate Tuesday.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 5:50 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Republicans vying to be Jefferson County’s next sheriff made their cases Tuesday.

In a debate at Jefferson Community College, all three said they have big shoes to fill if they win.

The candidates may have kicked off their campaigns some time ago, but Tuesday afternoon was the first time all three were in a room together addressing the public.

Retired Deputy Peter Barnett, current Deputy Gerald Delosh, and Detective Perry Golden are seeking to become the next sheriff after current Sheriff Colleen O’Neill announced she would not be seeking reelection.

Each candidate had a message for voters.

“I want to hear what your visions are,” Barnett said. “What are your expectations? What are your ideas for the local sheriff’s department?”

“I have the best experience for this job,” Golden said. “I bring business experience, leadership experience, 26 years of law enforcement experience. Let me put that to work for you.”

“Again, I work for you now,” Delosh said. “I want to continue working for you as your sheriff.”

All three are Republicans and share similar viewpoints when it comes to Second Amendment rights, drug education and prevention, and the addition of more law enforcement throughout Jefferson County.

What do they say that makes them stand out?

“With regards to the drug issue, I’m heads and shoulders above the other two because of my 17 years’ experience on the drug task force,” Golden said.

“We don’t have enough people,” Delosh said, “so this is where my plan is to implement the villages, the village police, because, again, they know the faces, they know the names, they know the houses.”

“I feel strongly about how to handle fiscal budget matters,” Barnett said. “I dealt with them on a daily basis. Expenditures, revenues, and I feel that I know how to really treat the taxpayers properly when it comes to their tax dollars.”

The campaign continues as New York state primaries are scheduled for June 28.

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