The former police officer who ran against Saratoga County Sheriff James D. Bowen four years ago has decided to run again.
Jason Longton was Bowen’s only opponent in 2009, but with Bowen retiring this year, he is entering a much more crowded field.
Longton, of Greenfield, maintains he has to run as an independent candidate because of the corruption of the political system, and because many voters don’t like either party.
“I just think it’s pertinent that people have an independent option,” he said. “So many people are unhappy with the Democrats and Republicans that there needs to be another choice.”
In 2009, when Bowen was running for his 10th term in office, Longton secured about 12 percent of the vote.
Longton was fired from the Corinth Police Department in 2004 for continuing to investigate a sexual abuse complaint after being ordered by a superior to drop it. He has maintained ever since that his firing was improper, though the courts ultimately upheld its legality.
Longton said he already has about 700 of the roughly 1,500 signatures on nominating petitions he will need to get on the ballot.
Also in the sheriff’s race this year are retired sheriff’s Investigator Michael H. Zurlo and retired state police Investigator Jeff Gildersleeve, who look like they will be facing off in a Republican primary on Sept. 10. The county Republican Committee has backed Zurlo, who worked for the Sheriff’s Department for more than 30 years.
Phillip Lindsey, a former South Glens Falls police officer, has been endorsed by the Democratic and Conservative parties.