BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Broome County District Attorney Mike Korchak has picked up the endorsement of a prominent Republican former elected official

Former Broome County Sheriff Dave Harder announced his support of Korchak during a news conference this morning at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Binghamton.

Harder served 58 years in the Sheriff’s Office and was elected Sheriff 6 times.

He says he worked with Korchak over the past 3 years before his retirement on December 31st.

Harder says Korchak is doing a tremendous job as DA.

“He’s changed things around at the District Attorney’s Office. My words are: it was a corrupt office, he took the corruption out of it and made it a decent office and he’s out there fighting for victims’ rights every day.”

Korchak also took the opportunity to rail against what he calls local attorney Paul Battisti’s campaign of deceit.

The 2 men are expected to face each other in a GOP primary in June.

Korchak says Battisti is manipulating statistics to paint a false picture of crime in the county.

And he claims Battisti is smearing him by suggesting he’s not a Republican.

Korchak says he’s following guidance from the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York in seeking as many political lines as possible.

And Korchak slammed Battisti for representing murderers, rapists and fentanyl dealers in his role as a criminal defense attorney.

“I am not owned by politicians. I owe no one any favors. I answer to the people. I don’t answer to parties, I don’t answer to politicians. I answer to the people and I support the Blue, I support crime victims and I always will.”

Battisti responded that Korchak is resorting to personal attacks in an effort to distract from his abysmal record.

Battisti contends that crime is up, overdoses are up, and too many families in Broome County don’t feel safe.

Battisti says he has solutions to make the community safe.