October 21, 2021

Osborne wins Tompkins sheriff race

From left to right, the candidates for Tompkins County Sheriff: Josh Brokaw, Ken Lansing, Derek Osborne.

Democrat Derek Osborne was elected Tompkins County sheriff Tuesday, defeating incumbent Ken Lansing on the Independence line, and Josh Brokaw on the Truthsayers party line.

Osborne got 21,396 votes to Lansing’s 8,553 votes and Brokaw’s 1,639 votes in complete but unofficial results for the four-year post.

“When I decided to run I didn’t know what would happen and I was very pleased with how I did in the primaries and I hoped it would translate into the Nov. 6 election,” Osborne said. “It did and even more so.”

Osborne spent the night celebrating at the Hilton Garden Inn in Ithaca.

“I’ll celebrate the win and then get ready to work come Jan. 1,” he said.

Brokaw said his campaign was a success.

“We have excited people about the prospect of making something different happen in our local politics,” Brokaw said in a statement Tuesday. “I have had lots of conversations with people about what the sheriff’s office does, how it operates now, and what people want to see changed about its current practices. We have shown that you don’t need to spend much money on signs and mailers to compete with the old, boring established party electioneering practices that so many people have tuned out.”

Lansing could not be reached for comment.

Osborne started as Cortland city police officer in 1995 and moved to the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department in 2001, where he worked his way up to undersheriff. He retired in 2015 and has worked to integrate federal inmates into the community.

Here is where Osborne stands on different issues.

Biggest issues: “We cover a relatively rural community, so we tend to have a lot of property crimes,” he has said. “When I was captain, that’s something I worked on getting the force to track geographically.”

He also said opioid abuse is a big problem. “I will tackle this issue with a multi-faceted approach that protects victims and leaves room for a compassionate approach to healing the addicted,” according to his official website.

Diversion programs: “I would definitely continue that because I know the legislature had been working hard on the programs. When drug-addicted people come through the jail, I would like to see more programs help them, so that when they get released they’re not just left hanging and return to their old habits.”

Overtime: “While I was undersheriff, I had overtime for road patrol at record lows and six months after I left they ballooned way out of proportion. I believe it’s a direct result of improper management.”