Former Mayor Matt Ryan speaks out on why he's running for Broome - Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Former Mayor Matt Ryan speaks out on why he's running for Broome County Sheriff

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(WBNG) -- Former Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan has officially filed to run for Broome County Sheriff under the Working Families Party. 

Ryan served as Binghamton Mayor from 2006-2013 and a public defender for 15 years.

He entered the race against incumbent Sheriff David Harder, who is seeking his 6th term as Sheriff. Wednesday, Ryan had strong words to say as he believes it's time for new leadership to take over. 

"You have to have somebody that's thinking outside the box, that's thinking how to improve things, not just the status quo and that's all we're going to get if we continue to have the leadership we have." said Ryan.

He says one concern is how Sheriff Harder handled questions earlier this year from 12 News earlier about recent jail deaths.

"His answer was you don't go to the hospitals and ask them how many people have died, which really raised my eyebrows." Ryan added.

This was the answer Sheriff Harder gave back in January:

"Look at the obituaries in the paper okay? There are two people that I know. It's sad to see it happen, but it happened, what are we going to do? Is the news media out there asking what could have been done to save them people, why not? Why aren't you doing that? Why aren't you going to the hospitals and ask them what they did to save that person so they wouldn't die in the hospital? You pick on the jail why?" Harder said. 12 News reporter Jackie Prager asked, "I know, we're just following up." Harder responded, "Look I know, but it's the truth. You could care less about anyone else on the street dying except people in jail." 

RELATED: RAW INTERVIEW: Broome County Sheriff talks about inmate deaths

Ryan says he has plans for the jail if elected.

"I'm going to try to make sure people pay attention to it and understand that if we're going to protect the community the best way possible it means to make some vast changes to how we prepare people to enter back into society," he said. 

Ryan says he'd make those changes by looking at other facilities and creating a team to restructure.

"People who took a look at things, tore things part and re-built them the way they should be and that's what we'll do with the Broome County Jail."

Sheriff Harder has been in office since 1998. 12 News reached out to him about the race, but our calls were not returned.

At his campaign announcement in January he said, "I knew the job inside and out and of course the 20 years added gave me even more qualifications. I know the job even more, what to expect, how to get it. and do the best we can."

RELATED: Broome County Sheriff to face inter-party challenge for re-election bid

"I think I can have a big impact on how we prepare people who are in jail, who need to be in jail, to come back into society and be productive citizens and also there are many issues with the mental health conditions of the people in the jail and the medical problems they're facing," said Ryan.  

Any candidate has until Thursday 5 p.m. to file with the Broome County Board of Elections under a party affiliation. 

Jason Ellis previously announced he was planning to run for Sheriff in the Republican Party. He has still not officially filed with the Broome County Board of Elections as of Tuesday.

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