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In Chautauqua County, race for district attorney heats up

Chautauqua County / Jason Schmidt for District Attorney
Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson (l) faces challenger Jason Schmidt this election season.

Some universal issues are bringing voters to the polls throughout Western New York like COVID-19 and the future of the economy. But in Chautauqua County, police reform is front and center as a tightly contested race for district attorney moves forward. Chautauqua Today news director Dave Rowley spoke with WBFO reporter Nick Lippa about how it’s taking shape.

Rowley addressed where criminal justice reform currently stands in the area.


“The police departments have teamed up with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office in developing their police reform plans, which are required by Albany by April 1 of next year. So they are kind of tackling the issue together," Rowley said. "And then they will break off into individual teams-- each police department meeting with their own stakeholders and developing their own plans. So they're kind of pooling their resources and then breaking off and developing their own plans for their communities.”


It doesn’t matter where you look in Western New York-- early voter turnout has been record breaking and Chautauqua County is no different. Rowley tells WBFO voters show no signs of slowing down during the 2020 election.

Chautauqua Today news director Dave Rowley talks about federal funding, COVID and what's drawing people to the polls this year.

A Chautauqua County district attorney debate between Patrick Swanson and Jason Schmidt will be held Friday night at 9 p.m. It can be streamed on chautauquatoday.com

You can read more of Rowley's work here.


Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.
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