Primary looms in race for Harrison town supervisor

Incumbent Harrison Town Supervisor Joan Walsh failed to win her party's nomination for a second term during the Democrats' nominating convention Thursday night.

Democrats split the vote equally between Walsh and retired police lieutenant Brendan Murphy, who now have to collect signatures in order to force a September primary.

"It says there's a lot of confidence in my candidacy to lead the community out of where we are right now," Murphy said in reaction to the party's decision.

The winner of the primary will face off against the Republican candidate, Police Chief David Hall. Hall was surprised by the outcome of the Democratic nominating convention, saying it is unprecedented for an incumbent supervisor not to win her party's support.

Both potential Democratic challengers think Hall should leave his job as Harrison's top cop in order to run for supervisor.

"The chief of police is a 24-hour job," Walsh says. "That's a decision he's going to have to make. I assume he's checked the laws."

Murphy believes both election and local ethics laws prohibit Hall from running for supervisor.

"We don't live in a police state," he says. "The police don't show up and make the rules, do the fundraising, and then shake them down for a vote, and I believe that's what Dave Hall is up to."

Hall says the Republican Party will be in charge of raising money for his candidacy. If elected, Hall says he will leave his post as police chief.

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