Erie County Sheriff's Race: Bernie Tolbert To Challenge Tim Howard

Former Local FBI Chief Announces Candidacy Today

Dave Debo
May 02, 2017 - 6:50 am

WBEN/Tolbert campaign Photos


(WBEN) Bernie Tolbert, the former Special-Agent in Charge of the Buffalo office of the FBI will announce he is running for Erie County Sheriff Tuesday.

Tolbert, a Democrat who ran for Mayor against Byron Brown in a party primary in 2010 and followed that up the following year with an unsuccessful campaign for an at-large seat on the Buffalo Board of Education, will make his announcement alongside former Buffalo Police Commissioner H. MacCarthy Gipson,

Howard, 66, hasn't officially announced his candidacy but  Erie County Republican Chair Nick Langworthy has been  talking about his candidacy since the end of last year and it is generally understood that he will be  running for a third term.

As the campaign unfurls, each candidate is likely to spotlight their law enforcement resume --Howard has been in  office since 2005 and is a former State Trooper, and Tolbert has a 20 year FBI career along with private and public sector investigative work .But each has  other issues they could raise about their opponent.

"The problems.. (involving excessive suicides at  the Erie County Holding Center) have been a growing stain on our county's repuation and I think that has been well documented," Tolbert said, when asked in an interview with WBEN (below) what issues he would spotlight.

 "Also rising street violence that is not just happening on the streets of Buffalo but have spread across our towns and our villages,"  he added.

Last month, County Democratic Party Chairman Jeremy Zellner spoke of Tolbert's candidacy briefly while criticizing Howard's appearance in uniform at a rally in support of President Trump on Niagara Square. Zellner said it was inappropriate for Howard to be there in an official capacity, without denouncing white supremacist in the audience.    

 HEAR Zellner on the WBEN Liveline   |  READ MORE:  Howard Not Facing Sanctions | TEA NY Calls For Zellner Resignation 

Tolbert, 68,  is also a former director of security at the NBA and has held a similar position for the Coca-Cola Company but left the league after they settled a firing lawsuit that included sexual harassment charges brought against him and other officials in 2009.

 From The NY Times: Former NBA Emplyee Says Sexual Harassment Concerns Were Ignored


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