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Paul Rickard, a former police chief and director of Hope Not Handcuffs, won the Republican primary for Mount Hope supervisor by a 2:1 margin on June 27.
Rickard got 248 votes, compared to 124 votes for the incumbent supervisor, Matthew Howell.
The vote tally includes ballots from the early voting period and election day; absentee ballots are yet to be fully counted, according to the Orange County Board of Elections.
“I am so grateful for the overwhelming community support I received throughout this campaign,” Rickard told The Epoch Times. “I am anxious to get to work for the benefit of my neighbors so that we can all enjoy the benefits of this beautiful town.”
No Democratic candidate is running for town supervisor seat this year, according to the Otisville-Mount Hope Democratic Committee.
Rickard ran on a platform of leadership, accessibility, and ethics reform, according to a previous interview with The Epoch Times.
In his decades-long law enforcement career, Rickard rose through the ranks to bureau commander of operations at Middletown Police Department and served as Mount Hope police chief for 12 years.
Now he is the director of Hope Not Handcuffs, a nonprofit initiative that helps people suffering from addictions through partnerships with law enforcement agencies and treatment centers in the Hudson Valley.
“I think a lot of people in the community have faith in me because they know my family, and they know my leadership,” Rickard told The Epoch Times.
His grandparents moved to Mount Hope in the early 1960s, and several of his family members worked in public service professions, such as policing and education.
As for accessibility, Rickard said he wanted to be more available to town residents by hosting regular office hours; he also planned to be more active in county and regional-level governmental activities.
Ethics reform is another priority, including bringing the town’s decades-old code of ethics up to date.
His ideas included having town elected officials and appointed members on the planning board fill out financial disclosure forms and file them with the clerk’s office every year, plus creating an ethics board to review related paperwork.
“I think ethics is important in government, and we need to be open and transparent,” he said. “If there is a conflict of interest, we should have a set of mechanisms [to deal with it].”
Rickard was endorsed by Orange County Legislature Majority Leader Tom Faggione, County Legislator Janet Sutherland, former County Legislator Melissa Bonacic, and former state Sen. John Bonacic.
Incumbent Supervisor Howell was elected in 2021 after serving eight years on the town board.
Howell told The Epoch Times in a previous interview that his priorities include growing the tax base, infrastructure improvements, and celebrating the diverse cultures in town.
He was endorsed by Mount Hope Republican Committee.