WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – The New York State primaries are just a few weeks away, but early voting begins June 12. Many candidates are gearing up for residents to cast their votes soon.
In Schuyler County, many residents are focused on the county sheriff race between Undersheriff Breck Spaulding and Investigator Kevin Rumsey. Both are running on the Republican ballot this primary and have worked together for many years.
“I am able to oversee everything and I’m acting sheriff when the sheriff not even there,” Spaulding said.
“I moved to investigator and work with adult protective services, child protective services, and welfare fraud,” Rumsey added.
Schuyler County conducted a resident survey, asking for their thoughts on what changes should be made. Some of the top responses, according to Breck, were training and transparency. In terms of police reform, both candidates believe that deputies need more training. Spaulding sits on the police reform task force for the department, but Rumsey has ideas to improve the rollout.
“The deputies will ask, ‘Well how come we’re not doing these training sessions or how come we’re not doing those training sessions.’ A lot of times we do our in-service training when we go to the range. We get the training that we are mandated to have, but I would like to see us go above and beyond with de-escalation training and cultural diversity training,” Rumsey said.
“I was on the task force for the police reform. Things were brought to our attention by the community. One of them is training for de-escalation mental health awareness and other things that we found out through the reform,” Spaulding added.
Both candidates are community-focused. Born and raised in Schuyler County, they are passionate about the villages, hamlets, and towns that make their area unique.
“I’m a lifelong resident here, most of my adult life has been working for the sheriff’s office. I still have a passion for the sheriff’s office,” Spaulding continued. “I care about the community. I care about the residents.”
“My heart is in this community,” Rumsey said. “I’ve beenworking my whole life toward this goal.”
As the polls open, both candidates encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote. Early voting in Schuyler County can be completed at the Schuyler County Courthouse on 105 9th Street in Watkins Glen. Early voting times vary and can be found in the county voter guide listed above.