Republican candidates for Erie County Sheriff get ready for Primary Day

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BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s a packed primary race for Erie county sheriff, with five people seeking to replace sheriff Tim Howard, who’s not seeking re-election. News 4 checked in with the two Republican candidates going head to head to secure their spot on the ballot in the Fall.

The Republican candidates include retired Buffalo Police Homicide Detective John Garcia and former Buffalo Police Department District Chief Karen Healy-Case.

“Well I think my 25 years of law enforcement where I really did everything on the job and those things are on the forefront of today. The opioid epidemic, the mental wellness crisis that we’re having also the shootings, homicides and so forth,” Garcia said.

Garcia is being endorsed by the Buffalo Police Department and Sheriff Howard.

“They believe in me and they believe in me because I’ve done the job and I’m in this for the right reasons, which is to make Erie County Sheriff’s Office a great place to work and to provide the best service and the best protection to our community,” he said.

Healy-Case is being endorsed by the Republican Party.

“I’m the strongest candidate by far, and I look at what I bring to the table both in private sector and in law enforcement, and I think the mixing of those two, makes me the most unique and qualified candidate for this position,” she said.

Healy-Case says she can bring an outside view into the sheriff’s office.

“It’s not a great time out there. It’s been pretty crazy for policemen around the country, and I think I have this unique experience that brings the private sector with law enforcement and I can unite them,” Healy-Case said. “I can help build trust back into the community with policing and with law enforcement and with our community.”

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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