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3-man race could open door for Democrat candidate to be next sheriff

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 October 2015 at 12:00 am

Organisciak says he would ‘lead by example’ in Sheriff’s Department

Photos by Tom Rivers – Don Organisciak is pictured with friends and family during a spaghetti fund-raiser Oct.3 at the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company. Some of the group includes his son Jimmy, right; Don’s wife Jacky (left); and Jeanne Crane, Democratic Party chairwoman, second from left in front.

MEDINA – Don Organisciak has seen the letters to the editor and a public displays from supporters for both Randy Bower and Tom Drennan, candidates to be the next Orleans County sheriff.

Organisciak winced at many of the letters to the editor during last month’s Republican primary. Some letter writers questioned Drennan’s judgment and other writers doubted if Bower has the qualifications to lead the Sheriff’s Department.

“As a leader you have to stay out of that,” Organisciak said about the letters and also many social media posts. “It degrades the Sheriff’s Department and the men.”

Organisciak is the Democrat candidate for sheriff. Bower won the Republican primary by 21 votes and also will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot as a Conservative. Drennan also has two lines for Nov. 3 – the Independence Party and Reform Party line.

Organisciak, a retired Medina police officer and investigator, said the sheriff’s race shouldn’t be a popularity contest. He urges voters to look at the experience and qualifications of all three. He has a 30-year career in law enforcement, capped by two years as the school resource officer in Lyndonville.

“Don is a good candidate with a lot of good experience,” said Jeanne Crane, the Democratic Party chairwoman. “Looking at their experience, Don has done some things the others haven’t.”

He sees a divided Sheriff’s Department, and says he can be a unifying leader for the department.

“They need someone they can look up to, who’s been there, done that,” Organisciak said. “I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, but we need to bring professionalism and loyalty back.”

Don Organisciak walks in the parade in Lyndonville during the Fourth of July.

It would normally be a tall order for a Democrat to win in a county-wide election. Former sheriff David Green was a Democrat who won several elections before retiring about 20 years ago. Currently, all county-wide elected positions are filled by Republicans.

Republicans outnumber Democrats nearly 2 to 1 in Orleans County. The current enrollment numbers include 5,261 Democrats and 10,099 Republicans.

There are also 1,055 registered members of the Independence Party, 529 Conservative Party members and 147 members of the Working Families Party.
A big wild card is the 4,754 “blanks” or voters who aren’t registered with a political party.

Organisciak and Crane think Republicans will split the vote for Drennan and Bower, with some Republicans also siding with Organisciak.

Organisciak is currently a part-time school bus driver for Medina. He said he has enjoyed the recent months of his campaign, attending community festivals and events, and meeting many residents throughout the county.

“It has been fun,” he said. “The people finally have a choice. It’s better than a two-horse race. It’s now a three-horse race.”

The three candidates will be featured during a forum on Oct. 21, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Albion Elks Lodge, 428 West State St.

New York Revolution and the Orleans County SCOPE are coordinating the forum. Steven Aldstadt, president of SCOPE in New York, will be the moderator of the forum.