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After losing Democratic primary, western Massachusetts sheriff candidate launches write-in campaign

Incumbent Patrick Cahillane, left, Caitlin Sepeda, middle, and Yvonne Gittelson, the three candidates running in the Sept. 6 Democratic primary for sheriff of Hampshire County, give their opening statements during a forum August 25, 2022, in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Dan Little
/
Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com
Incumbent Patrick Cahillane, left, Caitlin Sepeda, middle, and Yvonne Gittelson, the three candidates running in the Sept. 6 Democratic primary for sheriff of Hampshire County, give their opening statements during a forum August 25, 2022, in Northampton, Massachusetts.

A contender for Hampshire County sheriff, who lost in the Democratic Primary last week, said she's staying in the race as a write-in candidate.

Yvonne Gittelson trailed incumbent Sheriff Patrick Cahillane by more than 20 points. She received under 27% of the vote to his 48%.

She used to work at the Hampshire County Jail and now supervises learning programs in jails and prisons for the state's education department.

A third candidate in the race, Caitlin Sepeda, got fewer votes than Gittelson. She said having two challengers running was good for Cahillane but not voters.

"With three people in the race, it was inevitable that we were going to split badly," Gittelson said. "With two people in the race, it's going to make a very, very clear choice to the voters that there is either the incumbent and business as usual or there is the opportunity for real change."

Cahillane said he won fair and square.

"It is the process and I accept the process, which I think is what we're supposed to do in democracies," he said.

No Republican is running for the job.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.