Hampshire County residents to elect new sheriff

Winner will replace current Sheriff Robert Garvey, who's retiring after 32 years.

Candidates for Hampshire County sheriff. At left is Democrat Patrick Cahillane of Northampton. At right is South Hadley Republican David Isakson.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Voters in Hampshire County are also heading to the polls to pick a new Sheriff. There is a lot of interest in this election so a big voter turnout is expected.

The race for Sheriff has been generating a lot of interest since the primary. Current Sheriff Robert Garvey is retiring after 32 years. He’s one of two local sheriffs calling it a career.

Democratic candidate Patrick Cahillane the Hampshire County Jail’s Assistant Superintendent. He told 22News he wants to continue to build on the good work of the Sheriff through drug treatment programs, reducing jail overcrowding and continuing the Western Massachusetts Treatment Center.

Continuing Coverage: Decision 2016

But Cahillane faces a challenge from Republican police officer David Isakson. Isakson says he would tackle jail health and safety issues, and create a community response unit to aid local police who might not have enough manpower, put in place youth drug programs and a support program for former inmates.

Cahillane won a three way primary race to get on the general election ballot. Isakson ran unopposed. Turnout in this year’s elections is already very high. Towns like Northampton and Southampton reported that 25 percent of registered voters voted early.

Elsewhere in Hampshire County, Amherst residents will be voting to approve a new elementary school at the Wildwood site. And Amherst, Pelham and Granby voters will be deciding whether to lower the drinking age to 19 for beer and wine.