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Drennan gets Republican endorsement for sheriff

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 May 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Tom Drennan, left, and Randy Bower shake hands after the Orleans County Republican Party Committee made its endorsement tonight.

GAINES – Tom Drennan has the Orleans County Republican Party endorsement to be the county’s next sheriff.

Drennan, the chief deputy the past nine years, has worked for the Sheriff’s Department for 23 years, starting as a deputy. The Kendall resident secured just over 60 percent of the GOP Committee’s vote this evening, getting 6,151 votes to 3,951 for Randy Bower, a long-time dispatcher for the county.

There were weighted votes for the 75 committee members who cast ballots this evening. (Two committee members abstained.)

Ed Morgan, the GOP chairman, praised both Drennan and Bower for working hard the past three months, meeting with Republican committee members throughout the county.

“They’re both good people,” Morgan said after the committee meeting at Tillman’s Village Inn. “They’ve both been above-board.”

Bower already has the Conservative Party line for the November election. He said he wanted to take a few days before deciding whether or not he would force a Republican Primary.

He thanked the committee members for their support.

Bower has the endorsement from the Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Drennan had many letters submitted on his behalf, from the current sheriff, Scott Hess, to former sheriffs, undersheriffs and the current District Attorney Joe Cardone. (Hess is retiring after Dec. 31.)

Drennan said he stressed his experience as a law enforcement officer. He also has worked nearly a decade as a supervisor.

“Experience is a big factor,” he said. “I’m not a politician. I’m a cop.”

Bower won over many committee members with his long-term plan for the department. He also is an impassioned speaker.

“He is dynamic with a great personality,” Drennan said about Bower.

Morgan said it was one of the most contested races for a GOP endorsement in a long time. The committee met for more than two hours, picking candidates for county offices.

“Never in the 10 years that I’ve been doing this have we done a secret ballot like this,” Morgan said. “You didn’t know the outcome coming in.”