VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — Retired Broome County Sheriff David Harder has transferred the rest of his campaign funds to Kathleen Newcomb.
Newcomb, who declared it intention to run as a Democrat to replace the six-term sheriff, said she was surprised and honored to receive Harder’s $2,603 contribution.
“He closed his campaign account, the Friends of Dave Harder campaign account, and he took – as far as I know – the rest of his balance and donated it to me,” Newcomb said.
Harder’s contribution is Newcomb’s largest campaign contribution last year, according to documents filed by the Board of Elections. Newcomb brought in around $8,000 in cash in 2022.
Despite the contribution to Newcomb, Harder said he remains “neutral” in the race, for now.
“I wanted to close my account and I know she needs the campaign money, so I donated it to her,” Harder said.
Harder, a Republican, said he intended to make an endorsement in the race in the coming months, but declined to indicate a preference.
Newcomb said she changed her voter registration to run as a Democrat after Broome County Republicans largely coalesced around State Sen. Fred Akshar (R-52). Akshar served as Harder Deputy Sheriff for several years before running for the State Senate. He announced that he would not run again in 2022 to run for sheriff.
“Fred Akshar is humbled and grateful for the overwhelming support he has received from the hundreds of community members who have donated their time and money to the Akshar For Sheriff campaign since he first announced his candidacy,” Akshar campaign manager Emmanuel Priest wrote in a statement. “They think Fred Akshar is the best candidate to move the sheriff’s office forward and help build a safer community for Broome County families and we think Broome County voters agree. Sheriff Harder is free to contribute to whoever he wants.
Akshar raised significantly more money than Newcomb in 2021, ending the year with nearly $146,000 in cash.
Newcomb said she tries to avoid focusing on Akshar.
“I don’t pay attention to my opponent and what he is doing. I’m just laser-focused on my own campaign moving forward. I don’t get distracted by that stuff,” Newcomb said.
Newcomb is currently a captain in the Sheriff’s Department Highway Patrol Division.