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Bourke elected next sheriff in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 November 2019 at 10:26 pm

Chris Bourke

ALBION – Chris Bourke was elected sheriff of Orleans County today, receiving nearly 80 percent of the vote against a write-in campaign for Brett Sobieraski.

Bourke, the current undersheriff, won a narrow Republican primary against Sobieraski in June. Bourke seemed to be coasting to the election. He also was on the Conservative and Independence lines.

But in the past month, many of Sobieraski’s supporters pushed the write-in campaign. The Rochester Police Department sergeant lives in Carlton and heads a drug task force for the RPD.

Bourke received 5,693 votes today and with early voting for 78.4 percent of the total. There were 1,570 write-ins. Those ballots will be counted on Thursday.

There are also 398 absentees that went out, with 264 returned so far, Board of Elections officials said.

Bourke has worked 35 years in the Sheriff’s Office, starting as a part-time corrections officer and working his way up as a deputy sheriff, K9 officer and lieutenant.

He will succeed Randy Bower as sheriff. Bower didn’t seek re-election. Bourke said the current chief deputy, Michael Mele, will become the new undersheriff starting Jan. 1.

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