Sobieraski, as write-in, gives voters a choice for new leadership in Sheriff’s Office

Posted 29 October 2019 at 9:46 am


I am a Democrat but next Tuesday, I’ll be casting my vote for a Republican in the race for Orleans Country Sheriff.

It’s a name you’ve heard, but won’t see on the ballot, because Brett lost the Republican Primary and he was not willing to appear under another party’s ballot. I respect that kind of loyalty. But I also respect that Brett was not so blindly loyal as to endorse his opponent, a candidate from whom “he is too far apart, on almost everything,” according to his own Facebook post.

So I will have to write Brett Sobieraski in, as I have encouraged anyone who will listen to do as well.

Because the kind of loyalty I’m not a fan of is the “my turn” mentality that at best breeds complacency and at its worst, harkens to the party boss days of corruption and cronyism. It shouldn’t be about time-in-grade. It should be how you spent that time. What you have accomplished, inside and outside of work. In your community.

This is one position that should transcend the fiefdoms, cross the aisle, and break the party lines. Public Safety is not a partisan issue. Alongside the DA, this is the top law enforcement official in the county and it should be our best and brightest—with the broadest perspective and most diverse experience.

If the primary was the election, and it were open to all voters, I believe Brett would have carried his primary supporters and enough Democrats and Independents to win the day. Likewise, if he were on the ballot against his Republican opponent on Election Day, because I believe he is the best man for the job.

He is from a family of law enforcement officers. He may be from outside the closed loop of the current regime, but contrary to what I keep hearing, he is “from here” and has been for decades and is well aware of the issues that face our community.

I, for one, have seen far too many friends and family members succumb to the opioid epidemic and Brett takes that issue as a top priority. The fact that he has not only supervised a narcotics task force, but served on the board of a substance abuse counseling clinic for almost two decades is a testament to his belief in both drug law enforcement and addiction recovery.

No, he hasn’t spent his entire career in the Orleans County Sheriff Department, bobbing slowly up the ranks until he was at the top. Instead he joined the military, led drug task forces and SWAT teams – sharing that experience with wave after wave of new recruits as an academy instructor. He raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity and above all, he has been a highly commended and decorated law enforcement officer for over 30 years, winning the highest community award available to a Rochester Police Officer.

So I don’t care whether he won his primary. Primaries are functions of the process, but largely perpetuate the status quo and in this case, I don’t think the results allow the community as a whole to have a say. I don’t care that he’s not from my own party. We don’t need a “business as usual” leader. We don’t need dogma. We need leadership, integrity and compassion.

We need Brett.

Jeremy Hogan