St. Lawrence County Conservative Party to hold two public interviews of sheriff's candidates seeking endorsements
BY JIMMY LAWTON
North Country This Week
CANTON — St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s candidates Rick Engle and Sean O’Brien will have a chance to publicly seek the endorsement of the St. Lawrence County Conservative Party.
SLC Conservative Party Chairman Hank Ford said the party will host two public interviews with candidates and are inviting the public to attend and participate in the process.“We want people to be involved in the process,” he said.
Ford said the party will interview each candidate at separate events with Engle’s taking place Jan. 19 and O’Brien’s taking place Jan. 26.
Ford said the interviews will begin at 6 p.m. sharp where the party will ask a series of questions, but he says the event is open to the public at large regardless of political designation.
“We are going to allow people who attend to ask questions of the candidates,” he said.
Ford said the race for the county’s top law enforcement agency is among the most important on the ballot for the primary elections and he wants to make sure people know the candidates.
Ford said that the St. Lawrence County Conservative Party is not a rubber stamp for Republican candidates and noted that the party endorsed Democrats, Republicans and Conservatives in the 2022 elections.
“Our goal is to find the best candidates for the job, regardless of party affiliation,” he said.
Ford is hopeful that members of the public will join in the process.
Both Engle and O’Brien are Republicans, but they are hoping to win the Conservative endorsement as well.
With a primary inevitable for the Republican endorsement, winning the Conservative line could keep a candidate on the ballot in November, even with a primary election loss.
O’Brien has years of experience at the department and has served as undersheriff alongside St. Lawrence County Sheriff Brooks Bigwarfe who recently said he did not intend to seek re-election.
Engle has long served as an investigator for the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.
The interviews will be conducted at 80 State Highway 310, Canton, at the Department of Motor Vehicles building.