Reynolds joins race for Essex County sheriff

Essex County Chief Deputy David Reynolds announces his candidacy in the race for sheriff on the steps of the Essex County court house Tuesday. (Enterprise photo — Griffin Kelly)

ELIZABETHTOWN — A second candidate has joined the race for Essex County sheriff.

Chief Deputy David Reynolds, a Republican, announced his plans to run for office Tuesday at 11 a.m. on the steps of the Essex County Courthouse.

“I have almost 20 years in law enforcement.” Reynolds said. He has worked for the Essex County Sheriff’s Office since 1999.

“I’ve supervised the road patrol, the civil division and the correctional division. I’ve represented the sheriff’s office on a number of task forces, committees and boards: the Essex County Heroin and Opioid Coalition (ECHO), the ask force against domestic violence, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) task force and the Essex County drug task force.

“But I also know that I have much more to offer, much more to do and much more to accomplish, so I’m proud to stand before everybody today and announce my candidacy for Essex County sheriff.”

Reynolds said his main priority if elected is fighting the opioid problem, a crisis that affects not only Essex County but pretty much all of the United States.

“Clearly the drug issues — that’s first and foremost in everybody’s mind,” he said. “A lot of things that we’re facing now are intertwined: the mental health issues, domestic violence. If we could somehow attack the drug issue, which I don’t think is just law enforcement — it’s a public health issue basically. We need our social services involved. I’m involved with ECHO. We meet quite often and discuss ways to fight the epidemic.”

Reynolds’s competition is Essex County Undersheriff Micheal Badger, also a Republican, who announced his candidacy in late 2017.

“I think competition is good,” Reynolds said. “I have nothing bad to say about anybody. He’s been my supervisor for a number of years. We’ve worked together. I’ve worked with everybody.”

Badger has been undersheriff to Richard Cutting for the past seven years. In December of 2017, Cutting announced her would not run for re-election in 2018.

Badger said the opioid crisis is also one of his main priorities as well as setting up firearm training programs for people who want pistol permits.

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