Law enforcement supports Kirk Martin for DA

EDITOR: I've been honored to serve as Sheriff of Tioga County for the past 10 years, on top of my total of 36 years with the Sheriff's Office. Fighting crime and making our community safer has been a privilege of the highest honor.

I'm writing this Op-Ed because I need the partner in the Tioga County District Attorney's Office to help me and my team do our jobs even better. The District Attorney is the chief law enforcement officer of the county, and is in charge of prosecuting the cases in court after we make arrests. No one works more closely with the District Attorney's Office on a daily basis than we do.

We need Kirk Martin as our next District Attorney. He's the partner we need. I've known Kirk for a long time from his service as an Owego Village Trustee, and his years as a Tioga County Assistant District Attorney. My wife Debbie and I have always thought very highly of Kirk. He has a fire in the belly to tackle tough problems, punish criminals and seek justice. What more could a Sheriff or a community ask for?

Kirk Martin has the values and vision to get the job done. He's already developed a smart and effective plan to: fight elder fraud to combat heinous criminals who prey on our senior citizens; combat drugs, like bath salts, meth and heroin to stop the deterioration of our morals; stand up for our Second Amendment rights by telling the federal and state and governments to stop creeping up on our constitutional rights.

Kirk Martin has my full-fledged support, as well as the endorsement of the Tioga County Law Enforcement Association and many, many other law enforcement officials. We are all invested in Kirk because we are looking for the leadership and the daily collaboration that will allow us to do our job most effectively.

When the Sheriff's Office needed someone to take a stand against meth labs, Kirk was there. It was refreshing to have an Assistant District Attorney take the time to come to the Sheriff's Office to truly listen to Deputies and Investigators. He was a cut above the rest when formulating plans, reviewing cases, obtaining search warrants and properly preparing for upcoming trials.

Kirk sought high bail on dealers and made sure those who threatened our community's safety served stiff sentences. He didn't take the easy way out by pleading cases down - like others have done just to say they got a conviction, or let cases slip through the cracks because he had something more important to do.

Kirk also isn't afraid to roll up his sleeves and get in the trenches with law enforcement officers.

During one particular search, we found parents cooking meth in their basement in the early hours of the morning while their children slept upstairs. Assistant District Attorneys are usually at home sleeping when we execute these busts. But not Kirk Martin; he was right there on site with us, assisting when needed. Plus, his observations and time on the scene gave him a clearer understanding of the issues to argue later in the courtroom. This level of collaboration and preparation is one of the differences between Kirk and everyone else.

It's clear to me that Kirk Martin is the only candidate who will take the Tioga County District Attorney's Office to the next level. Our county is lucky to have a candidate of his caliber. Just about every police officer I know feels the same way.

The law enforcement community is proudly supporting Kirk Martin for Tioga District Attorney, and I'm respectfully asking you to join me in voting for him in the Republican Primary on Sept. 10.

Gary Howard

Sheriff of Tioga County, N.Y.

Owego, N.Y.

On the other hand...

EDITOR: Tioga County Republicans will be asked to make a choice on Primary day, Sept. 10, as to who they want to represent them on the November ballot for Tioga County District Attorney. There are three candidates in the field and I wish to announce support for Irene Graven, the acting District Attorney. Irene has served as 1st assistant District Attorney for 14 years and as the 1st assistant has shared office space with Jerry Keene. She was in the best position, of all the assistants, to benefit the most from Jerry's experience. She has, in her 14 years, gained experience in all of Tioga County local courts as well as working closely with Jerry Keene in many of his cases.

It is not only her experience in the DA's office that makes me support her. Irene Graven served for many years as the Grant Executive for the Mildred Faulkner Truman Foundation. I believe that in that capacity Irene has gained an important perspective, that the other candidates may not have, about Tioga County and its citizens.

I believe that with her humanistic experience, court experience and her appointment as acting District Attorney, by outgoing DA Jerry Keene, have earned Irene Graven the privilege to run as the Republican candidate for District Attorney in Tioga County. The polls are open from noon to 9 on Primary day.

Marty Borko

Waverly, N.Y.