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Broome County Sheriff candidates debate ahead of election

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Current Broome County Sheriff David Harder (R) and his challenger, Matt Ryan, who is running on the Working Families line, debated Tuesday afternoon ahead of the general election.

Harder has served as sheriff since 1998 but joined the Broome County Sheriff’s Office in 1964. Ryan is a former two-term Binghamton mayor and has 15 years of experience as a public defender.

Harder said he brings experience to the table while Ryan said he offers change. The main change Ryan wants to focus on is Broome County’s incarceration system.

“Imagine if you had a sheriff who said, ‘That’s going to be one of my main concerns is to make sure that every kind of resource is available to make sure that people first of all don’t go to jail in the first place, second of all if they do go that they get the kind of treatment, the kind of training that will help them be successful when they get out,'” Ryan said.

In rebuttal, Harder said he’s already been working on improving the incarceration system.

“We’re waiting for the Senate’s $400,000 to come through, work with that program,” Harder said. “There’s going to be an actual person put in charge of that program to make sure there’s a follow-up after the inmate leaves the facility. That’s an advancement right there.”

12 News caught up with each candidate to see how they are feeling ahead of the election.

“I’m always nervous when it comes to election time. The past five elections I’ve always been nervous,” Harder said.

But Ryan has a different feeling.

“I’m not nervous. I mean, I did this as a campaign of ideas. It’s caught on quite a bit,” Ryan said.

The final decision on who will win is up to voters in Broome County. You can cast your vote on November 6.



Grace Gagnon

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