Erie County Sheriff candidates debate ahead of November election

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Posted at 11:26 PM, Oct 13, 2021

EAST AURORA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Three of the four candidates for Erie County sheriff debated ahead of the November election.

“The public doesn’t feel safe, the deputies don’t feel safe,” Democratic candidate Kimberly Beaty said.

“I am a cops cop, I will lead by example, people follow me because I’m a leader,” Republican candidate John Garcia said.

“I will not make my decision on an affiliation, I will make my decision on what’s right or wrong,” Independent candidate Ted DiNoto said.

The candidates for Erie County sheriff debated about holding center deaths and whether the Erie County holding facility should close.

“We need both facilities to ensure the heath of the incarcerated people and the staff there,” Garcia said.

“It needs to be closed,” DiNoto said.

Kimberly Beaty said it’s important to be sure inmates are getting what they need.

“We have to first remember that they are people, and they don’t deserve to die,” Beaty said.

Farming police work was also debated. Garcia said it’s a matter of being responsible, Beaty and DiNoto said that would not happen should they be elected.

“If a job needs a police officer, it gets s police officer, not anybody else,” DiNoto said.

“They fall within the Erie County sheriff’s office and should be held accountable like everyone else,” Garcia said.

All three candidates agree that opioid addiction is a top priority. They all said they’re ready to begin making improvements on January first.

“At zero dollars to the taxpayers, we will make improvements immediately,” Garcia said.

“A person sitting on this stage that is endorsed by Tim Howard is just four more years of Tim Howard,” Beaty said.

Tonight’s debate was the only scheduled face-off between the candidates. Karen Healy-Case will also be on the ballot but decided not to participate in the debate.