Krapf defeats Bartlett
Roger Hannigan Gilson reports in the Times Union that in 2008, Democrats began outnumbering Republicans in Columbia County, but did not have many electoral victories to show for their size. But in this fall's election, the countywide candidate Democrats backed for sheriff, Don Krapf, defeated long-time Republican sheriff David Bartlett. By 2017, Democrats outnumber Republicans in Columbia County 55 percent to 45 percent, and that was roughly the unofficial election night vote total in the sheriff's election. Krapf was a former Republican, running as an independent backed by Democrats. Bartlett's defeat might not be due to inevitable demographics. Bartlett's campaign was haunted by the beating of Harold Handy, at a July 4, 2020 Kinderhook party hosted by one of his deputy sheriffs. Currently four people are facing trial for the beating, and Bartlett's office was criticized for his handling of the case. Columbia County sheriff's deputies, for instance, erroneously told superiors that Handy was not severely hurt, but he was put in in the intensive care unit at Albany Medical Center, where doctors said he was severely beaten. Bartlett's deputies also initially claimed that the partygoers -- many working in law enforcement -- were too drunk to be interviewed, according to a deposition taken by State Police and obtained by the Times Union. “Justice for Harold” signs were seen on lawns last summer, and there were several protests. Read more about this story in the Times Union.