The first political clash of 2011 is taking shape in the race to success James Kralik as Rockland County sheriff.
Two long-time Rockland police officers —Sheriff’s Chief Louis Falco and Clarkstown Detective Sgt. Tim O’Neill — will be declaring their intentions of running for sheriff.
Now, O’Neil, 56. of Stony Point,l could — and probably will — argue he announced first, that being the night he lost to Kralik four years ago come November.
Both O’Neill and Falco seeking to succeed Kralik, a member of the Sheriff’s Department for 46 and the sheriff since 1991. Kralik announced four years ago he would not seek another term.
Kralik defeated O’Neill after a tough fight in which O’Neill won four of the county’s five towns but lost Ramapo by enough to allow Kralik to squeeze through. The Orthodox Jewish and Hasidic bloc vote proved to be the difference for Kralik. O’Neill was highly critical of the religious community and Kralik and it remains to be seen what his strategy will be this time.
O’Neill and Falco will likely be going head-to-head for the Democratic line during a September primary in advance of the November election.
Rockland Republicans have not chosen a candidate. Kralik, a Republican not pleased with O’Neill, has endorsed Falco, a longtime adi to the sheriff who has become the face of the Sheriff’s Department during the past few years as Kralik has taken a back seat.
Most people in politics expect Kralik will use his influence among the Republicans to try and get Falco the GOP nomination and ballot line in November.
There’s been no word on a any challenger — Republican or Democrat — to Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe, who will be seeking his second, four-year term in November.
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