Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum puts value on endorsements from numerous law enforcement agencies.

"These people are professionals," Van Blarcum said of his endorsers during an interview at his office on Sunday morning. "If they didn't think you were doing a good job, they wouldn'ty endorse you."

His challenger in the race for sheriff, former marine and state trooper Juan Figueroa, puts value in excitement among democrats and in his outsider status.

"I'd bring a completely differenty perspective to law enforcement, and the office," Figueroa said before a 'meet-and-greet' at The Lace Mill building in Kingston.

Figueroa beat Van Blarcum for the Ulster County Democratic Committee's endorsement in May, and won the democratic primary election in September.

Van Blarcum is going to be on the November 6 ballot at a candidate for the republican and reform parties.

In our respective conversations, candidates answers questions about the opioid epidemic similarly.

Both believe in diversion programs to keep addicts with minor offenses out of the jail and court systems.

Both spoke skeptically about any ideas for a program in the jail that would involve the opioid-blocking medication, suboxone.

"What if it gets into the wrong hands?," Figueroa said. "There are all kinds of things that have to be looked at first before we go down that road. But I am willing to look at it, absolutely."

"The number one drug attempted to get smuggled in here, is suboxone," Van Blarcum said.

When asked why he thinks it is so frequently smuggled into the jail, he said he thinks it is "because it gets them the high that they (opioid users) need to get."

When asked about how closely the department should cooperate with ICE, they differed.

Van Blarcum said it is standard procedure to share information with any federal agency.

"As a law enforcement agency it's tantamount to getting the job down is sharing information," he said."We would share information with any law enforcement agency."

Figueroa said that he would not turn over information on undocumented immigrants to ICE for public safety reasons.

"If they're a witness to a homicide or if they're going to testify in a big burglary case," Figueroa began, "and if they don't want to now because they're afraid they're going to be deported, that's a public safety issue."

Diversity within the department has also become a campaign topic.

Out of 300 staff at the department, Sheriff Van Blarcum said that just five or six speak Spanish.

Neither candidate would say how many more Spanish speakers the department needs, only that they both think the current number is too low and that they both have creative ideas to diversify the department.