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Candidate launches bid for Erie County Sheriff

WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

Three candidates are now lined up to run for Erie County Sheriff.  On Monday, County Sheriff’s Lt. Bert Dunn announced his campaign.

Sheriff Timothy Howard is running hard for another term as a Republican, while Democrats are apparently looking at a primary or at least a fight for the Democratic endorsement.

Both Dunn and Richard Dobson have been invited to meet with the Democratic County Committee Saturday for a future endorsement.

Dobson, a retired sheriff's lieutenant and watch commander, launched his campaign in late February.  

Dunn is a current lieutenant and watch commander. 

Dunn is a UB graduate and holds an MBA from Canisius College.  He operates the family's Bert's Bikes and Fitness, founded by his father.

Dunn told reporters his background in business and finance means he can make changes in the department even with all of the state and federal regulation.

"The sheriff has a lot of ability to enforce what happens on a day to day basis in the organizational structure in the delivery of services...the policies and procedures...the training...there's all kinds of things the sheriff has control of and he does have $101-million to work with," said Dunn.

Dunn said he has spent years working his way up in the Sheriff's Department.

Dunn made his announcement Monday in an Orchard Park building in which Bert's Bikes started. 

Dunn said nothing negative about opponent incumbent Sheriff Howard, but noted that he could run the department much better.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.