St. Lawrence County sheriff candidates collect 5,000+ signatures

Published: Apr. 5, 2023 at 3:56 PM EDT
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CANTON, New York (WWNY) - The two candidates for St. Lawrence County sheriff handed in their petitions to run for the top law enforcement job on Wednesday.

With more than 2,000 signatures, Sean O’Brien turned in his petitions at around 1:30 p.m. at the county’s Board of Elections.

After going door to door, O’Brien says he heard a lot from residents about their major concerns.

“The priority is the drugs and the mental health of this county. We struggle with the drug problem post-Covid. Our officers are dealing with mental health every day. We’re dealing with more and more dangerous incidents that’s putting the public at risk, employees at risk and we need to make sure that we continue on that fight,” said O’Brien.

Not long after O’Brien filed his paperwork, Rick Engle arrived at the Board of Elections to file his petitions to run for sheriff. He had 3,000 signatures.

Engle says the recent swatting calls to area schools have his attention and thinks every district should have a school resource officer.

“I’ve talked to a few people and we need to work together to come up with an affordable way to put an SRO or SRD in every school. I think that a lot of the recent calls we’ve been getting in regards to swatting and stuff like that only goes to show that it’s a needed program,” said Engle.

O’Brien is the current undersheriff with 20 years of experience in the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and has the endorsement of the county’s Conservative Party.

Engle is a detective in the sheriff’s office and has 23 years of experience in law enforcement. He has the backing of several local unions with workers in the sheriff’s office.

Both O’Brien and Engle will continue to campaign and hope to earn votes and maybe more endorsements.

Both men are running as Republicans. With no other candidates running, the race for sheriff will be decided in a primary election on June 27.