BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The primary winners for the Erie County Sheriff’s race may have different political viewpoints, but they both agree that this race represents a historic moment. 

“Say 20, 30, 40 years ago, two candidates running for Erie County Sheriff, I don’t think we would of had a Hispanic and an African American woman. It is a  historic race and I look forward to it,” said John Garcia, republican Erie County Sheriff Candidate. “I just want to put out a positive message.”

“I think it’s great,” said Kim Beaty Democratic Erie County Sheriff Candidate. “I also feel like, at the end of the day, a Buffalo Police officer is going to run the Erie County Sheriff’s office. So it is historic. In my case, as far as women are concerned, I would be the first woman of color to be elected as a sheriff in New York State.

Both Garcia and Beaty are former Buffalo Police officers. Issues important to them include…

“I’m going to put measures in place to make sure that we properly oversee inmate care and mental health,” said Beaty. “That’s what families want. They want to know that their family members are safe, and inmates want to feel safe.”

“We have some big issues, we have an opioid epidemic that we kind of forgot about with covid,” said Garcia. “A lot of young people are dying. In my opinion, a disastrous bail reform, we have over 40 homicides in the city of buffalo. That’s unacceptable.”

Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.