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Democrat Running for Tulsa Sheriff Sees Likelihood of Win as "Remote"

Matt Trotter

Democratic candidate for Tulsa County Sheriff Rex Berry isn’t giving up on the race, but he sees winning the election as a long shot.

Berry is not withdrawing from the race, but three weeks from election day he’s giving several recommendations for the sheriff's office, presumably for Republican candidate Vic Regalado.

Berry wants all contracts put on hold until the votes have been counted and said that shouldn’t cause too many delays.

"How far our are we from the election? Two weeks? Three weeks?" Berry said. "And if by some odd quirk of nature I did win, I would not want to be saddled with contracts I found incompatible with my ideas."

Berry recommended several steps toward improving jail inmates’ health and safety, including consulting medical and mental health experts about provider contracts and ending housing contracts to improve the ratio of inmates to officers.

"Let's create and fund with outside funding a prisoner advocate position independent of TCSO and county government and give them unfettered, 24-hour, seven-day-a-week access to the jail," Berry said.

Berry also made recommendations aimed at boosting the agency’s accountability. He said a professional jail administrator should be hired and local chiefs of police and mayors should be surveyed to see how TCSO can best support them.

Berry said the sheriff’s office and its powers haven’t changed much since it was founded in 1907 as a keeper of frontier law and order, but they should.

"Your sheriff actually needs to be more of a program manager with an overall view not only of how we want the inner workings to fit together, but how does a sheriff's office fit into the community as a whole?" Berry said.

Berry is running against Regalado, a Republican, who won the special election to serve as sheriff after Stanley Glanz was removed from office.