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Krapf challenges Bartlett, who remains quiet

Sep 25, 2021 12:05 am

Roger Hannigan Gilson reports in the Times Union how a 23-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, Don Krapf, is running as an independent-minded candidate against his boss, current Sheriff David Bartlett, a Republican, in this fall's election. It is a strange election, in several ways, and if the number of yard signs in Columbia County is a proper gauge, it has generated the most interest among voters. Krapf is a Republican too, who recently left the party for this election. The incumbent, Bartlett, has been mired in controversy since last summer, when a party at the home of one of his deputies in Kinderhook ended with a local man being beaten almost to death. The ensuing investigation was first handled by others in the Sheriff’s Office with an obvious conflict of interest before being turned over to the State Police. More than a year later no trial date has yet been set for those who stand accused of the alleged assault of Harold J. Handy III. The case has resulted in rallies, a countywide campaign for justice on Handy's behalf, and a host of comments on social media. Bartlett has not been speaking to the media much since the incident. Krapf has, usually with his running mate for undersheriff, former state trooper Jackie Salvatore. Krapf says he will make her undersheriff, an unelected position. “I’ve been with the Sheriff’s Office for 23 years, and during that time, I’ve seen some real room for improvement,” Krapf said. He complained about the Sheriff’s Office “gradually and steadily moving away from community-centered policing,” but would not directly criticize Bartlett. Salvatore's constant presence in the Krapf campaign is his attempt to sound like a different kind of sheriff. “Full disclosure: I have a family riddled with alcoholism and substance abuse and know some people who have made some remarkable progress in recovery,” Salvatore told the newspaper. Krapf and Bartlett agree on one thing: both are not commenting on the beating of Harold Handy, and there is little official information about the assault case available for the public. Read more about this story in the Times Union.