Conservative Party endorses Randy Bower for sheriff

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 May 2015 at 12:00 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Conservative Party has endorsed a long-time dispatcher to replace Scott Hess as sheriff. Hess is retiring after Dec. 31 and isn’t seeking re-election.

The Conservative Party endorsed Bower on Monday, choosing him over Tom Drennan, the chief deputy at the Sheriff’s Department.

Al Lofthouse, Conservative Party chairman, said Bower impressed party leaders during an interview. He wants to run a lean department with its budget and also step up efforts to pursue welfare fraud, Lofthouse said.

“He came across a little better in the interview,” Lofthouse said about Bower, a Holley resident. “People felt Randy was more attuned to Conservative values.”

The Orleans County Republican Party Committee meets on Thursday to make its endorsements, and the sheriff choice may be the most anticipated selection.

The nine-member Conservative Party Committee did not endorse any incumbent county legislators for re-election. Lofthouse said the county leaders haven’t done enough to bring down property taxes in the community.

The Conservatives did endorse Paul Lauricella Jr. of Lyndonville to run against incumbent Lynne Johnson. Lauricella is vice chairman of the Conservative Party. He recused himself from the legislator endorsement discussions, Lofthouse said.

“The county is not headed in the right direction,” Lofthouse said this morning. “We have the highest taxes for home assessments in the country. The legislators don’t seem to be willing to take the bull by the horns and cut expenses.”

In addition to Bower and Lauricella, the Conservative Party endorsed the following candidates:

Rocco L. Sidari for county coroner, Joseph R. Kujawa for Ridgeway town justice, Ronald Mannella for Gaines highway superintendent, Edward Houseknecht for Shelby highway superintendent, Tracy Bruce Chalker for Clarendon highway superintendent, Carol Culhane for Gaines town supervisor, Mary R. Neilans for Gaines town councilwoman, and Matthew Passarell for Albion town supervisor.