Separate polls conducted by the Democratic and Republican parties both show the race to elect the next Erie County Sheriff in a dead heat between beleaguered incumbent Tim Howard and challenger Bernie Tolbert. In a move of desperation to shift the focus of the race away from his twelve- year, three-term record of failure, Tim Howard yesterday launched an attack ad on TV against Bernie Tolbert.

Democratic County Democratic Chairman Jeremy Zellner said, “It is highly unusual for an incumbent to launch an attack ad like this so early in the campaign, but then it is unusual to have an incumbent with such a deep record of failure. There are still seven weeks  until election day, yet Tim Howard is already acting out of desperation by engaging in politics of false and misleading accusations and attacking Bernie’s well-respected reputation with false claims and innuendo. These tactics won’t fool the voters, however. Polls by both parties show the same thing. No matter the sponsor of the polls, the result is the same): the race is in a dead heat and breaking towards Bernie.”

Bernie Tolbert said, “Tim Howard’s ad is classic political dirty tricks. It is utterly false. It is part of a pattern of lies, disinformation, and misdirection that has characterized Tim Howard’s management of the sheriff’s office. He desperately wants to hide his appalling record: 22 unexplained deaths in the jails under his leadership; 700 overdose deaths in the county since 2015; a record-setting murder rate this year; and a toxic political environment made worse by Howard’s speeches to rallies of racists, bigots, and extremists.”

“Howard’s ridiculous attack ad,” continued Tolbert, “includes a number of untruths including that I was involved in a sexual harassment suit at the NBA several years ago. Erie County residents and voters should know this is a lie pure and simple. I have never been the subject of such a charge. Tim Howard’s toxic politics of lies and hate have no place in our county.”

Read the Letter sent to Tolbert supporters regarding the real details behind the NBA Lawsuit