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Sheriff race heating up
Candidates debate whether to debate
BY MICHAEL BALLWAY, NEWS STAFF WRITER Southbridge Evening News

WORCESTER - Last night, area voters had a chance to see the candidates for president in the first of three national debates. Worcester County will have to wait a bit longer, though, to get clear answers from three candidates in an increasingly acrimonious sheriff race.

Frank A. Beshai, an unenrolled candidate from Worcester, said yesterday that he believes Guy W. Glodis, D-Auburn, is "afraid to debate." At the same time, Glodis called Beshai's comments "much ado about nothing." Both attacked the credentials of the Republican candidate, Worcester's William J. McCarthy, who responded by saying neither of his opponents is qualified to be Worcester County sheriff.
In a three-way sheriff's race that seems headed for even more confusion and acrimony than the contentious Democratic primary,

Beshai fired the first salvo late last month. He alleged that Glodis, who won a landslide primary victory over incumbent Sheriff John "Mike" Flynn Sept. 14, was refusing to join a dialogue on the issues. "He beat the sheriff in the primary, talking about the sheriff's age, his family, the house the sheriff lives in," Beshai said yesterday. "He really doesn't know what the issues are. Signs and bumper stickers don't give you the qualifications to be sheriff." Beshai acknowledged that Glodis' campaign has agreed to at least four joint appearances in the next month, including radio debates with all three candidates on Worcester radio station WTAG-AM 580, Oct. 20, and Fitchburg's WEIM-AM 1280, Oct. 27. He said, however, that he wanted a chance to debate Glodis earlier in the month. "A lot of people will have their minds made up [by late October]," Beshai said. He also said he wanted to try an uninterrupted, panel-moderated debate, in addition to the radio debates hosted by talk shows. "It's going to be an hour and a half, you've got news in between, and also you have commercials." Beshai said of the WTAG debate, to be hosted by Jordan Levy. "I proposed a debate with a panel of media from across the country, where we don't know the questions. That's [where] he's afraid to debate."

Glodis, for his part, said he would gladly go to any debate hosted by a third party. "The Jordan Levy Show called us, and we agreed to do it," he said. "I don't set up the debates. When a group sets up a debate, they invite us, we attend. I'm not averse to debates earlier in the month. "I look forward to debating," Glodis added. "It educates the public about the actual duties and responsibilities and opportunities of the sheriff's department to be more proactive in the community." As for qualifications, Glodis said he would "put my credentials against [Beshai's] any day of the week. "I worked as a corrections officer. I worked for the trial court. I was chairman of public safety after Sept. 11 and oversaw a $100 million budget," Glodis continued. "I would be very safe to put my resume and my qualifications against those of both my opponents." He said he considered Beshai, whom he said garnered 70,000 votes in an attempt to unseat Flynn six years ago, the more "credible" of his two opponents.

But McCarthy, the Republican nominee, said Glodis was simply using "an old political tactic" to distract voter attention from the fact neither of the other two candidates, according to McCarthy, is qualified.
"Mr. Glodis has never been trained," McCarthy said. "He was a temporary, part-time correctional aide. He didn't go through the basic academy. He has less training than the most basic entry-level employee at the jail." Furthermore, said McCarthy, "Beshai is not really a credible candidate, regardless of what either one of them say. He has no law enforcement experience at all. He has no credentials, no education or training, dealing with criminal justice." McCarthy, a professor of criminal justice at Quinsigamond Community College, said he will receive a doctorate in that field later this year. He said he is the most qualified candidate because in his current job, he teaches law enforcement, terrorism, and constitutional law classes to sheriff's department employees. "If you were to advertise for this job," McCarthy asserted, "Frank and Guy wouldn't be on the short list. [They] wouldn't even be on the long list for the job."

Beshai asked why McCarthy, whom he described as a lifelong Democrat, is now running as a Republican. Beshai himself, though, was a Republican six years ago, and is now running as an independent.
Glodis, for his part, was slammed by a fellow Democrat when Flynn, in the waning days his re-election campaign, questioned Glodis' commitment to the principles of the Democratic Party. "The position should be an independent, non-partisan position," Glodis said. "If people have followed my career in the [state] Senate, they know I have a very independent, non-partisan streak. I have always voted along the lines of the best interest of my constituents and Central Massachusetts."

One thing, perhaps, is for certain: When the three sheriff candidates finally do sit down for a debate - whenever that is - it should be an interesting one
 

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Forums scheduled in sheriff's race
Debates
Richard Nangle - T&G STAFF

The candidates for Worcester County sheriff will meet several times over the next four weeks to discuss their qualifications for office. The first of those meetings is slated for 7 p.m. tomorrow at Temple Emanuel, 280 May St., Worcester. WTAG-AM 580 radio's afternoon drive-time program "The Jordan Levy Show" will host the three candidates - Democrat Guy W. Glodis, Republican William McCarthy and independent Frank Beshai - on Oct. 20.

The Worcester League of Women Voters will moderate a candidates forum on Oct. 26 at Davis Hall on the Nichols College campus in Dudley. The forum will be videotaped and available for broadcast on local cable television stations. It will be broadcast on campus radio station WNRC-FM 95.1. Also, WEIM-AM 1280 radio in Fitchburg has scheduled a debate for Oct. 27. Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Beshai both have been calling for debates where the candidates would question each other and receive questions from a media panel with opportunity for follow-up questions.

Mr. Glodis defeated 18-year incumbent Sheriff John M. "Mike" Flynn in a Democratic primary last month. He has served as a state senator from the 2nd Worcester District for six years, and has been chairman of the Public Safety and Insurance committees. Prior to his first election to the Massachusetts House in 1996, he worked as an officer at the Worcester Superior Court and as a temporary guard at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction.

Mr. Beshai has worked for 14 years in Straight Ahead Ministries, a locally founded organization that has brought programs to youth lockup facilities in Massachusetts and 13 other states. He ran against Mr. Flynn as a Republican six years ago.

Mr. McCarthy, a former Connecticut state trooper, is a criminal justice instructor at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester. He is a lifelong Democrat who recently registered as a Republican.
 
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