BROOME, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Longtime Broome County Sheriff Dave Harder is endorsing Kate Newcomb in the campaign to replace him. 

Harder, a Republican is finishing his 6th term in office, retiring after a total of 58 years at the Sheriff’s Office. 

Newcomb is currently the Captain of the law enforcement division at the department overseeing the road patrol, detectives, SWAT Team and the office’s accreditation.

She has been with the Sheriff’s Office for over 30 years and switched her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat last year in order to run as a Democrat.

Harder cited her efficiency, work ethic and attention to detail in announcing his support. 

He said that people should vote for the person, not the party.

“She meets with people, if a problem comes up, I give it to her. She is right on top of it. She makes a list of things, very efficient. That’s the word I’m trying to get to. The efficiency of her is unbelievable, a lot better than mine.”

Newcomb is running against Republican Fred Akshar who is also a veteran of the Broome County Sheriff’s Office. 

Akshar said that while he respects Harder’s many years of service, his endorsement of Newcomb presents a stark contrast between someone who supports the maintaining the same policies and his call for change.

“I’ve been telling people during the course of this campaign, if it is status quo in which you seek, don’t vote for me. If it is in fact a new vision, a new energy, new leadership at the office, to move this community in a very positive direction, then I am respectfully asking for this community’s support on November 8th.”

Harder had appointed Akshar as his Undersheriff prior to Akshar leaving law enforcement for his successful run for State Senate. 

Akshar announced last year that he would not seek another term as Senator in order to run for Sheriff. 

Harder’s endorsement of Newcomb is not a complete surprise as he has been appearing with her in public at events and earlier this year closed his campaign account and donated the money to Newcomb’s campaign.