Republican Candidate Receives 53% Of Vote
There’s a new sheriff in town in Chautauqua County.
Jim Quattrone, a former lieutenant with the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, defeated incumbent Joe Gerace on Election Day, seizing more than 53 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results by the county Board of Elections. Quattrone ended the night with 22,114 votes to Gerace’s 19,126.
Dave Wilfong, Republican Chautauqua County Legislator and the chairman of the county Republican Party, introduced newly elected Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone by stating, “There’s a new sheriff in town.”
Quattrone said he was excited to begin the next chapter of his life.
“I’m overwhelmed by the support, the community support, the support from my family and friends, but really the voters of Chautauqua County were ready for a change — ready for a positive move forward, and I’m looking forward to working with the other police agencies cooperatively,” Quattrone said.
Quattrone said he appreciates the clean campaign both sides ran in the election. He said he has grown close to Gerace, his former boss at the Sheriff’s Office, as well as with Gerace’s family.
“I’ve been able to, somewhat strangely, develop a friendship with members of his family that I really didn’t know previously,” he said. “I was given some advice from his father (Hon. Joseph Gerace Sr). ‘Just because you’re campaigning against each other doesn’t mean you have to be enemies.’ Joe, I don’t have anything bad to say about him. I think he has done a great job. I think I can do things differently and that is why I decided to run.”
A graduate of the FBI National Academy, Quattrone earned a Master of Science in administration of justice from Mercyhurst College and a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Gerace had been seeking a seventh term as sheriff. In a speech at Brazil in Jamestown, the longtime sheriff said he was disappointed with the results but thanked those who have supported him over the years.
“This wasn’t the outcome we were looking for,” Gerace said. “I’ve got to first say that I am super grateful to many, many people. I’m proud of what I’ve done over the course of my tenure.”
“I appreciate everything everybody’s done — the thousands of people that supported me with their vote and those that supported me financially,” he continued. “I’m really humbled by all the work that was done on my behalf.”
Gerace also thanked his entire family, those who worked on his campaign and the individuals he has worked with over his 23-year career as sheriff.
“We worked very diligently, but the voters of the county have spoken,” he said, later adding, “I’m going to walk out with my head high because I’ve done a lot for this county. I’ve dedicated my entire adult life to public service and I’m not going away.”
The sheriff said he plans to help Quattrone transition into the new role. “I’ll be doing anything I can to help with the transition,” he said. “The agency has been what I am for so long, I’m not going to leave it in hands that aren’t well planned.”
Meanwhile, Quattrone said he looks forward to working with the other police agencies in the county. With that, he said his ultimate goal is working to better the community through cooperation and public service.
“Really, it is important we recognize it is not about who gets the credit,” Quattrone said. “Ultimately, the goal is to serve the public and not worry about who gets credited for the arrest or the new program as long as we are doing something effective.”
Quattrone will take office in January.
Jordan W. Patterson contributed to this report.