MAYVILLE, N.Y. — Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace announced today he is seeking re-election.

Gerace, a Democrat currently in his fifth four-year term, said, “Since I was first elected as Chautauqua County sheriff, my professional team of deputies, correction officers and other staff, I have risen to every challenge presented to the office at the least possible cost to property taxpayers.”

The longtime member of the Sheriff’s Office will face Republican challenger Russell Payne of Frewsburg, New York, in the Nov. 4 general election.

Gerace noted the success of the “Wanted in Chautauqua County” program that reportedly has resulted in the apprehension of hundreds of individuals with outstanding arrest warrants.

Other programs implemented under Gerace’s watch include an inmate release program for those sentenced to weekends who are placed on work detail; a welfare fraud investigation partnership with the county Department of Social Services; and Smart-911, a program in which county residents create online public safety profiles sent to 911 dispatchers in the event of an emergency.

“I am asking the voters of Chautauqua County to allow me to carry out the mission of this office for the next four years,” the sheriff said.

Gerace, who lives in West Ellicott, New York, is a 36-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office and holds a master’s degree in administration from Alfred University, a bachelor’s degree in police science from Mercyhurst University and an associate degree in criminal justice from Jamestown Community College.

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