Drennan supporters say he has experience, commitment to excel as sheriff

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 August 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Tom Drennan greets some of his supporters, including Michael Hanlon at left, during a chicken barbecue dinner this evening at the Elks’ Club in Albion. Drennan, the current chief deputy at the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, is running for sheriff and faces a Republican Primary on Sept. 10 against Randy Bower.

ALBION – Tom Drennan’s supporters showed up in force today to buy chicken barbecue dinners and lend support for the chief deputy seeking to become the next county sheriff.

Drennan has worked 23 years for the Sheriff’s Office, starting as a road patrol deputy in September 1992. He has been promoted to lieutenant, criminal investigator, major and chief deputy.

He is running a campaign with a message that “Experience Matters.” He faces Randy Bower in a Republican Primary on Sept. 10. Drennan has the Republican Party endorsement. Former Medina police investigator Don Organisciak has the Democratic Party endorsement for the Nov. 3 election.

Drennan’s supporters include a who’s who of local law enforcement leaders, including District Attorney Joe Cardone. The DA says he can’t endorse a candidate, but he said Drennan would be an asset for the county as sheriff.

“I’ve worked with Tom for 23 years,” Cardone said. “There hasn’t been a major investigation he hasn’t been involved with. He brings years and years of experience and good judgment to the job.”

Tom Drennan was out directing traffic on Route 98 during the 10-mile race in Albion, the debut of the Metro 10 that included about 400 runners.

David Green, a retired sheriff, served in that role for 20 years as a Democrat. Green is now the vice chairman of the Democratic Party and has taken some heat from Democrats for backing Drennan.

Green said he has known Drennan since he was a young boy. Green was friends with Drennan’s parents, the late Jack and Helen Drennan.

“I have known him and his family for 50 years,” Green said at the Drennan benefit this evening.

Green was sheriff when Drennan was hired 23 years ago. Green said Drennan has received many promotions and completed numerous training classes, developing contacts in the law enforcement community.

“The other two (Bower and Organisciak) are both good guys,” Green said. “But I think Tom is the best prepared. He’s worked hard to get to this point.”

Four members of the civilian staff at the Sheriff’s Office, who all work with Tom Drennan, serve up chicken barbecue dinners. The group includes, from left: Sandy Wolfe, Nicole Spohr, Debbie Hughson and Allison Lavigne. Karen Narburgh also is pictured at the end of the line. The group served 700 dinners today.

Allison Lavigne works as civilian staff in the office with Drennan. She and her civilian co-workers helped serve the chicken dinners today. They support Drennan to lead the Sheriff’s Office.

“He’s one of the most honest and respectful people I’ve ever met,” Lavigne said. “I believe he has the county’s best interest at heart. It’s not personal for him. He’s thinking of the county.”

Rocky Sidari, a former Albion fire chief, has 25 years with the Fire Department. He also started as a county cornorer in January, and he said Drennan has been helpful since Sidari started the new job.

“Whenever we had a serious fire, he’s been there,” Sidari said. “He’s dedicated and professional. It doesn’t matter the call, he’ll jump in. Honestly, I think he’d be one of the best sheriffs we’ve ever had.”

Drennan greeted people at the Elks door during the benefit. He said he’s pleased with the campaign and the encouragement from the community.

“The support has been awesome,” he said. “It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s been enjoyable.”