By Samantha Maziarz Christmann
Democratic Erie County Sheriff Candidate Richard Dobson entered his Lackawanna election headquarters on Abbott Road Tuesday night knowing Republican Tim Howard would probably come out on top.
"You know I'm the underdog tonight," Dobson said.
Dobson said he was outmatched when it came to funds and political advertising. He knew Howard had strong support for saying he would not enforce the S.A.F.E. Act and expected Dunn to peel Democratic votes away.
"The only thing that troubles me is I don't want to let these people down. But in a couple of hours, I'm going to have to give them a concession speech," Dobson said.
Several sheriff's deputies turned out to support Dobson.
"Either way, I'm going to walk out of here with my head held high. The support has been phenomenal," Dobson said. "For these sheriff's deputies to support me could be a career-ending move for them, but that just shows you how bad they want change."
Around 10:30 p.m., he decided to "get it over with" and give a brief concession speech.
"I just want to say thanks, ladies and gentlemen. The Buffalo News has called it. Tim Howard gets another term. Apparently, Bert Dunn has taken too many votes — it’s impossible to overcome it. But from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone in this room, the people who came in here from the beginning and stuck with me to the very end. It’s been a very difficult 11 months but you people made it a pleasure, an honor,” he said before leaving the stage amid hearty applause.
Though he attributed the loss to Dunn pulling Democratic voters away, Dobson had garnered just 29 percent of the vote by that point in the evening.