Central New York

New Sheriff May Be Determined in Oswego Primary

The Oswego primaries may decide who will become the next sheriff. Don Hilton and Gene Sullivan are both running on the Republican and Conservative tickets, which means the winner could be determined before November. If one of the candidates wins both parties, they will become the next sheriff.

Oswego County Sheriff Candidate Don Hilton has lived in Hastings, N.Y. for his entire life. He is married with five children.

Don Hilton explained that at this point, there’s nothing more to do.

“Most of the work has been done. We’ll spend [tomorrow] making last minute phone calls, knocking on a couple doors, and relaxing mostly,” said Hilton.

Hilton is currently a Senior Investigator with the District Attorney’s Office running the cold case and homicide unit. He began his career in the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department as a corrections officer, then worked with the Syracuse Police Department for 20 years. He left SYPD to become a Federal Drug Intelligence Officer before joining the District Attorney’s Office.

He hopes his experience with the Drug Task Force will help address the opioid problem in Oswego.

“Nothing has been done to fight the opioid problem. We have one of the highest fatal overdose rates in the state, and right now there’s no policies, no plans to address it,” said Hilton.

Hilton said he’s planning to run on his resume and the idea of change; unlike his opponent, Gene Sullivan.

Oswego County Sheriff Candidate Don Hilton was a part of the Syracuse Police Department for 20 years.

“His platform is just continuing what’s been going on, and mine is a wide variety of change. I believe the department is kind of behind the times,” he said. “There needs to be a change in technology and programs for the corrections side of it. There needs to be some drug treatment program for the inmates. Policies and procedures need updated.”

The current sheriff, Reuel Todd, is retiring after 20 years with the Oswego County Sheriff’s department. Gene Sullivan has been the undersheriff for seven years.