The Middlesex-Somerset County PBA endorsed Democratic Somerset County sheriff candidate Darrin Russo on Wednesday.
“Darrin’s top priority is to make the County Sheriff and its officers not only visible to the public, but to be an active, engaged part of their community,” the PBA’s endorsement letter said. “Under a Russo-led Sheriff’s department, you will see the Sheriffs officers involved in programs throughout the county making a noticeable, lasting impact on the safety and quality of life of the residents.”
Russo’s Republican opponent, North Plainfield Police Chief Bill Parenti, said he had been endorsed by the town’s PBA local earlier this year only to have the PBA contradict him.
Since the North Plainfield PBA is part of the Middlesex-Somerset unit, Parent’s hometown police union has effectively endorsed Russo.
The bylaws of the State PBA bar most locals from issuing independent political endorsements.
The two are running to succeed retiring Sheriff Frank Provenzano.
“I’ve been an active member of the law enforcement community and the PBA for three decades. These officers know me and they know my commitment to protecting the community,” Russo said. “I’m proud that these fantastic public servants are in my corner, and know that as their Sheriff we will do great things together for Somerset County.”