Bourke wins Republican primary after widening lead with absentees

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 July 2019 at 10:53 am

Chris Bourke

ALBION – Chris Bourke is the winner of the Republican primary for Orleans County sheriff. He had a 99-vote lead on Tuesday after people went to the polls.

There were 144 absentee and affidavit ballots counted this morning and Bourke’s lead grew by 15 votes. He won this morning’s count with 79 votes to 64 for Brett Sobieraski. (There was one write-in vote for John Riggi, a Yates town councilman, for sheriff.)

There was a mathematical chance this morning that Sobieraski could win the Republican primary for sheriff when 137 absentee ballots and seven affidavits were counted this morning. Sobieraski would have needed to dominate and win more than 80 percent of today’s ballots.

Bourke, the current undersheriff, 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.

“I thank everyone for their hard work through the process,” he said this morning. “I would ask everyone to stop the personal attacks and the nastiness that comes with the election. Let’s move on and do good things for Orleans County.”

The tally, from Tuesday and this morning, is 1,872 for Bourke and 1,758 for Sobieraski. Those results aren’t final because more absentees could come in by the deadline on Tuesday. Those ballots need to be postmarked, no later than June 24, a week ago.

Bourke also has the Conservative and Independence lines for the Nov. 5 election. Randy Bower, the current sheriff, isn’t seeking re-election.

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