LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor’s Councilor Michael Albano will be running for a different office this year. In an e-mail sent to 22News and to supporters Friday morning, Albano announced that he will be running for Hampden County Sheriff, ending many months of speculation over whether he would run for another term on the council or seek the sheriff’s office.
In announcing his run, the former Springfield mayor, who now lives in Longmeadow, will be running for the Democratic nomination against Nick Cocchi, who announced his candidacy back in 2014, after current Sheriff Michael Ashe announced he was not running again. Cocchi is the deputy chief of security for the Ludlow jail. Jack Griffin, a retired employee with the Connecticut Department of Corrections is also running for the Democratic nomination, while James Gill, the assistant deputy superintendent of the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, is running as an independent.
Albano says that he wants to focus on fighting mandatory minimum sentences, which he describes as discriminatory. He also says that he would make the drug addiction crisis a priority as sheriff.
“I want to lead the effort for harm reduction – to saving lives – in regard to the opioid and heroin epidemic facing our County and State,” Albano wrote.
Albano served as mayor of Springfield from 1995 to 2003, and was elected to represent most of western Massachusetts Governor’s Council- which is responsible for voting on judicial nominations- in 2012. Prior to his mayoral term, he served as a probation officer and a member of the state parole board.