After twice beating him out for the Democratic nomination, Juan Figueroa once again defeated Paul VanBlarcum tonight to become the next Ulster County Sheriff.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Figueroa has 53 percent of the vote to VanBlarcum’s 47 percent. All results are unofficial.
VanBlarcum spent his entire career with the department and was elected sheriff in 2007. The race was mainly a critique of some of his recent public actions and statements, including using the official sheriff’s Facebook page to urge a boycott of the NFL at the height of the kneeling protests during the National Anthem, posing with President Trump in the Oval Office last year (mainly an issue during the primary), and a policy, later reversed, of checking visitors at DSS for outstanding warrants.
Figueroa, of Plattekill, is a former state trooper and marine. He’s said he plans to bring a new style to the department, promising not to use official communication channels to broadcast personal opinions, and trying to do more to combat the opiate epidemic.