Kamholtz announces bid for sheriff

Gwen Chamberlain
Ken Kamholtz

The 2011 political calendar is not even available yet, and local and state election officials are still compiling lists of the offices that will be up for election this November, but that hasn’t stopped Yates County Deputy Sheriff Ken Kamholtz from announcing his bid for the Yates County Sheriff’s office.

A statement distributed Thursday, Feb. 3 says “Yates County needs a hometown sheriff with effective ties to each community, township and or village.”

The statement, from Wilson Simmons Jr., campaign media coordinator, says Kamholtz will conduct several focus groups to discuss local issues and concerns.

The statement continues, “He will form partnerships that engage in problem oriented policing here at home, not in Albany. Ken will be a respectable hometown sheriff that  will tackle hometown problems. Ken will look deep within the budget of the Yates County Sheriff’s Department for ways to trim cost of all the departments within the scope of the Yates County Sheriff.”

The statement does not indicate whether he will be seeking the Republican or Democratic Party endorsement,  but in an email response to follow up questions, Kamholtz wrote, “At this early point in the campaign I will be extending my hand to all parties for their support.” Kamholtz was placed on an unpaid administrative leave and charged with two counts of filing a false instrument when he was an investigator in the sheriff’s department in late 2006.  

The case never went to trial in Penn Yan Village Court because the charges were dropped and Kamholtz agreed to return to duty as a road patrol officer.

He had also filed a worker’s compensation claim and a 2008 lawsuit against the sheriff’s department, Sheriff Ron Spike and Sr. Investigator Michael Christensen.

That lawsuit’s dismissal in U.S. District Court was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals in late 2009.

In the past, Kamholtz has run unsuccessful campaigns seeking election to the Penn Yan Village Board and the Penn Yan School Board of Education.

Spike has not announced his plans for this election year.

The fall primary will be held Sept. 13 and the general election will be held Nov. 8.