by: Raquel Okyay


New York State’s prolific tea party activist tells Conservative Women that the mud-slick Republican primary race for Saratoga County sheriff is a one of character over deception.


“Michael Zurlo is a life-long dedicated law enforcement professional with more than 30 years’ experience protecting the streets of Saratoga County,” said Carl R. Gottstein Jr. founder of Patriots for Life and resident of Rensselaer County.


“The name Saratoga is a manipulation of an Indian word “sah-rah-ka” or “Sarach-togue” that means “the hill beside the river,”  he said.


Zurlo has been endorsed by outgoing Republican Sheriff James D. Bowen and is embroiled in a heated GOP primary fast approaching on Tues. Sept. 10. Bowen who is the longest tenured Sheriff in New York State, in office since 1972, is retiring at the end of the year.



Gottstein said Zurlo is the right choice for Saratoga County. “He is the only candidate to receive the support of law enforcement unions including Council 82, the Saratoga County Correctional Officers and the New York State Deputies Association.”


The social media professional said Zurlo is uniquely qualified for the job. “In his capacity as former judge in the Town of Stillwater Zurlo has a constitutional understanding of the law coupled with a calm, steely judicial temperament.”


Zurlo has critical knowledge in the areas of first-hand executive experience, he said. “Zurlo is the only candidate to have experience with corrections, civil, communications and road patrol.”


“Zurlo 100% supports the U.S. Constitution, recognizing the special place held by the 2nd Amendment guaranteeing our right to bear arms,” he said.



Gottstein who is a volunteer moderator for Grassfire Nations and Patriot Action Network said Zurlo is the only candidate born and raised in Saratoga County. “If you want to be the county Sheriff, it is best if you know the county like you know your own back yard – Saratoga is home for Michael Zurlo, always has been.”


He said the former volunteer firefighter is cool under fire and ready to serve. “Zurlo will hit the ground running as Saratoga’s new sheriff. Saratoga’s first in over 40 years!”


“Zurlo was first to announce his candidacy for Sheriff, first to unveil his technology platform, first on social media and the World Wide Web,” said the dynamic political veteran.


Zurlo is also pro-life, said the New York State Right to Life Committee board member. “While right to life issues are not as relevant for a sheriff position as in other races, I follow candidates like Zurlo who have the fortitude and character to openly express their pro-life position.”



Zurlo’s opponent in the primary on the other hand, Jeff Gildersleeve, is a sheriff’s deputy from Warren County who is  running a deceitful and ugly campaign, said Gottstein.  “His approach is unbecoming of a statesman, much less a top law enforcement official.”


“Gildersleeve circulated petitions to residents who were tricked into signing as they thought it was a petition to repeal the SAFE Act, but was actually a ballot petition for Gildersleeve,” he said.


Gildersleeve has no leadership ability, said the dynamic political veteran. “He did not receive the endorsement from his own union, N.Y.S. Troopers and the Patrolman Benevolence Association.”


Gildersleeve is obviously not trustworthy, he said. “He used his taxpayer funded automobile for political purposes, attending political meetings and disseminating political lawn signs.”


It is not true that Gildersleeve, as he claims to this day, was not given an opportunity to speak before Republican committee, said Gottstein. “Jeff Gildersleeve entered the race for sheriff over a month late and failed to attend the county-wide Republican meeting that is part of the endorsement process.”


“Gildersleeve has never managed a budget or supervised more than ten people at one time. How can we expect him to effectively manage a huge budget and more than 200 employees?” he asked.


“Zurlo is the Sheriff of the future; has the right temperament, experience and knowledge for the job,” he said.


“Saratoga will be well served with Zurlo,” he said. “Don’t forget to vote for Michael Zurlo for Saratoga County sheriff this Tuesday, Sept. 10.”


Courtesy: Carl R. Gottstein Jr. and David Keene, former NRA president Dated: Feb. 28, 2013, Albany, New York



  1. Thanks Raquel it is always a pleasure to take your call. Great piece, I hope this clears up all the lies being spread around. Send home the clowns. This one is over, called on a technicality. Only one candidate can is capable of telling the truth.

    Best of luck, hope the Victory goes to Saratogas home grown son,

    Not the ultimate candidate, just the best damn lawman in town!

    Sheriff Z

  2. I am taking calls from folks who want to help. Here is a link to his donation page! Thank you! Carl

  3. Raquel, I’m surprised you’d put out a hit piece like this. From my other interactions with you I would have expected you to look at both sides and right a more honest, balanced article. Crap like this doesn’t reflect well on you as journalist.

    I’d love it if you’d do a more balanced follow up article. Both candidates were interviewed by Fred Dicker, that might be a good starting point, or else interview proponents of both sides.

    Zurlo interview:
    Guildersleeve interview:

    • Hey Evan, welcome to my website! I think we have a difference of opinion on a candidate, not a question of honest delivery, here.

      Differences in opinion in GOP primary races are the hallmark of my career actually — sometimes having bitter arguments with close friends.

      At the end of the day the voters decide.

      I used to have a blog called where I interviewed both sides and came to a conclusion, not always what was expected of me.

      In this instance, however, it’s different because I’ve interview Zurlo on the 2nd Amendment for Human Events a few months ago, and he was right on target, I became a fan.

      When I started following him, I saw that the opposition were saying things that just weren’t honest about Zurlo. I suppose I joined the Zurlo camp.

      Of course, this article is about Carl’s testimony on Zurlo, not mine. But Carl’s testimony means a lot to me on a professional level. As we go waaaaay back and I trust his assumptions.

      • Hmm, ok, I guess I came at this with the expectation that it was a news article as opposed to advocacy and that colored my response. Sorry I came on so harsh.

        I’ve got to say, the article doesn’t reflect what I’ve seen of the race, but everyone has a different perspective.

        All the best!

  4. P.S. I think Dicker had his own dog in the race — in these interviews. He comes off as a bully towards Zurlo.

  5. Funny, I keep hearing it repeated over and over that Gildersleeve supporters have been lying about Zurlo but they never seem to follow up with anything specific about what those lies are?

    Name one thing that has been spread about Zurlo that is not 100% backed up by Zurlo’s own words. The only people that could honestly have listened to that Fred Dicker interview and come away thinking people were lying about Zurlo are his personal friends bent on voting for him no matter what.

    No objective voter would listen to the Zurlo for themselves and conclude that anything coming out of the Gildersleeve camp is a lie. That accusation is a plain old false witness.

    Repeating “They are lying about Zurlo” over and over does not make it true.

    Nobody should vote in this race for Saratoga County Sheriff before they google “Mike Zurlo Fred Dicker” and listen for themselves. No lies necessary.

    • Lie, Jeff claims the Saratoga GOP committee endorsement was unfair, yet he failed to even show up to be interviewed. Jeff claims the Zurlo campaign “stole his ides” yet Zurlo was on record and in the race a month before Jeff. Jeff Petition process was deceptive, Jeffs Claims his signs were stolen by the Zurlo Campaign was deceptive. Its a pattern of lies. Jeff Claims Zurlo is not against the safe act, Zurlo is on record supporting FULL REPEAL. Over and Over false Issue after false Issue. Even his support is phony ginned up BS. Its all The Gun Guy and Tom King and Lisa Donavon. They are using thier networks. Talk 1300 , The NRA and UCC to Sell guns. Simple as that. The contriver was never a serious candidate. He is an old gun salesman at work. Jeff worked for the Gun Guy years ago…Did he tell you that?

      They are trying to HI JACK the emotions of the anti Safe act crowd of which I, Raquel and Mike Zurlo are all proudly a part for personal advantage.

      Michael Zurlo was vetted by the people in Saratoga the residents elect to vet Sheriff Candidates.

      Zurlo will be the next Saratoga Sheriff if God is watching.

  6. “Gildersleeve circulated petitions to residents who were tricked into signing as they thought it was a petition to repeal the SAFE Act, but was actually a ballot petition for Gildersleeve,”

    Again – False Witness.

    Have you ever tried walking up to a strangers doorstep, knocking and trying to get them to sign something? How many of them do you think would actually sign?

    Continuing the false witness that Mike Zurlo tried to shovel to the judge in court when he sued Gildersleeve on this accusation is false witness on top of false witness.

    Remember too that Jeff nearly doubled the requisite petitions needed to primary by getting almost 2000 signatures. He fooled all 2000 people into thinking they were repealing the safe act? Half of them? How stupid do these false witnesses think their readers are?

  7. So 2A Patriots you will note the date of this article and the lack of any mention of Jeff. Jeff Lies a lot. Guildersleeve is not yet in the race , yet here we have Zurlo with a 21st century Platform…interesting. Proof of Jeffs Lies? Proof Jeff STOLE Mike Zurlos Platform? YES…Jeff is nailed to the floor like a rug. Jeff Lies. Here is the PROOF! Sorry GUN GUYS lil reminder

  8. “I know how the department runs. I have knowledge of communications. I have knowledge of the road patrol. I have knowledge of civil and the records department. So those 32 yeas has brought me a great vast of experience of how the sheriff’s department operates,” says Zurlo.

  9. Hi I’m Jeff Gildersleeve, I am against the safe act, will you sign my petition.

    That’s what he said. Over and over and Over.

    The office of the County Sheriff is not legislative.

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