PLATTEKILL – A retired State Police investigator announced his candidacy for the Democratic Party nomination for Ulster County Sheriff. Juan Figueroa of Plattekill made his intentions known Wednesday on YouTube.
Figueroa cited his need to continue “a lifelong commitment to serve and a promise to use the office to represent all residents, regardless of political affiliation or background.”
Incumbent Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum, also a Democrat, previously announced his intention to seek re-election.
Figueroa said he has served 22 years in the US Marine Corps, retiring as a chief warrant officer, and 25 years in the State Police. “I patrolled the roads of Ulster County and worked in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation,” he said. “I have successfully taken down drug cartels, worked to stop corruptions and fought to keep us safe abroad.”
He said that law enforcement and the community “need to work as a team and that we need a proactive approach to fix the problems we face” in the county, especially issues like to heroin/opioid epidemic.
Figueroa’s early support comes from County Legislature Minority Leader Hector Rodriguez, Kingston Mayor Steven Noble, Saugerties Town Councilman John Schoonmaker, Town of Rosendale Democratic Chairman John Schwartz, City of Kingston Democratic Chairman Joe Donaldson, and Town of Shawangunk Democratic Chairwoman Adrienne Gelfand-Perine.