This is a letter to the editor. It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To see other endorsements for Election 2018, click here. To submit an opinion piece, email Managing Editor Kelsey O’Connor at

TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. — Democrats have an important primary on Thursday, September 13. Yes, that’s a Thursday!

I strongly support Derek Osborne for Sheriff and Michael Lausell in NY State Senate District 58.

Derek understands the County’s efforts to reduce recidivism by helping people re-enter the community after incarceration. Following his 20-year law enforcement career, Derek worked for a non-profit reintegration program for federal prison inmates, connecting them with counseling, employment training, and other social service referrals. Having that direct experience, helping people succeed after incarceration, will be a first for a Tompkins County Sheriff.

Derek also knows his way around the county budget from his years serving as our Undersheriff. He truly understands how to balance the department’s needs with his responsibility to the taxpayers.

Michael is a farmer and Schuyler County Legislator. I met him as an early advocate in the fight against fracking. He and his husband Rusty are both volunteer emergency responders, a role that Michael finds keeps him in touch with what’s really going on in the community.

This past spring, when Crestwood (proposer of the LPG storage project under Seneca Lake) admitted the salt caverns under the lake might be leaking, Michael got the Schuyler County Legislature to unanimously reverse its previous support. Three days later the DEC denied the Crestwood permit. We need that kind of smart advocacy in Albany!

On Thursday, September 13, polls are open from noon to 9:00 p.m.

Martha Robertson*

Town of Dryden

*Although Robertson is Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature, she is expressing her views as an individual.