Cocchi claiming victory in Hampden County sheriff’s race

Cocchi won contentious Democratic primary in September

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Democratic candidate for Hampden County sheriff Nick Cocchi is seen at left, with independent candidate James Gill at right. Republican candidate John Comerford is not pictured.

LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Democrat Nick Cocchi is declaring victory in a race to succeed his longtime boss Michael Ashe as the next sheriff of Hampden County.

With 4% of precincts reporting, Cocchi is leading with 6,888 votes or 64% to Republican John Comerford’s 2,800 votes or 26% and independent James Gill’s 1,029 votes or 10%.

Political consultant Tony Cignoli told 22News that the Cocchi campaign has numbers from every city and town, indicating that the Ludlow Democrat has won every precinct in Hampden County.

Cocchi, the deputy superintendent for the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, declared his candidacy more than two years before this race began. He secured the incumbent sheriff’s support in a closely-watched three-way primary in September against Springfield City Councilor Tom Ashe and Governor’s Councilor Mike Albano.

Gill, an independent from Wilbraham, currently serves as assistant deputy superintendent for the Sheriff’s Department.

Comerford, a Bondsville resident, has run a low-key campaign, but secured his party’s nomination in September despite a write-in challenge.