From Cop to Candidate: Herbert Announces Run for County Legislature’s 7th District

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

He is a police officer, member of the school board and also an MMA fighter but Eric Herbert is hoping to become the newest member of the Legislature. Taking those professional skills to help protect and serve people of the 7th District. The 32-year-old has been working tirelessly to help the people of North Tonawanda. Since 2013 he has been a member of the police department and is a member of the SWAT team.

He has already started meeting the people throughout the district.

“I have already been to 120 homes so far, I am going to go to every house twice. I am going to go to the conservatives, republicans, there is not a house in the district that I am not going to go to and then when I am done, I am going to go back,” said Herbert.

In addition to meeting people face to face he also plans to reach out to voters through social media.

“I cannot tell you how many times someone has said to me that people have said they saw something about me, I do plan to use social media a lot,” said Herbert.

Since age 19 he has been a professional MMA fighter and has won numerous statewide and national championships, however he says Feb 23rd will be his last fight, hanging up the gloves and taking one some political muscle.

“When you have one party government for too long, it could be all Democrats or all Republicans, it doesn’t matter. When you have been un-challenged like that and then someone comes in asking questions, it is just everyone being defensive. I want to challenge the system and I hope they want to challenge me. My concern is how to we move forward for the City and for Wheatfield,” said Herbert.

Since 2018 he has been a member of the school board and has worked non-stop to increase security and safety for students. Becoming a vocal advocate for having a School Resource Officer at the North Tonawanda High School. It’s important to him not only as a resident but also as a parent. Herbert and his wife Diana have a 9-year-old son, who attends the public-school system in North Tonawanda.

Serving is nothing new to Herbert in 2004 he joined the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 2008. At the completion of his service Herbert received the distinction of being honored at the White House by Presidents George W Bush for his service. But no matter if he is around the President of the United States or a local resident in North Tonawanda Herbert says his goal as a 7th District Legislator will be the same, helping to improve lives and bring transparency to local government.

“There is no effort from the Legislature to have people informed on what they do,” said Herbert.

A big part of what he says they will be doing in the next 2 years is negotiating contracts and when it comes to that, he says there is no one else more qualified for the job.

“There is a ton of union contracts that are up in the next 2 years, so if you are a legislator right now you are going to be the one, voting on the sheriffs deputy contract, you are going to be the one voting on a lot of the union and county contracts. So, you have to know about union workers, I am a union worker and on school board we negotiate union deals, with the grounds keeps and stuff, so there is a lot that, that will be under the microscope for whoever win the election. I am ready for it and I am the only one with experience, who has done it,” said Herbert.

What also makes him different is that many people in North Tonawanda and Wheatfield already know who he is and how committed he is to the City.

“You know the tougher side of the City and in the school district sometimes it’s those same kids, that are the troubled kids. There are 2 career positions that really let you know the City and that is a cop and a teacher, because a cop sees the city and teachers know what’s going on in someone’s home because they see the behaviors. So, being a cop and on the school, board has helped me a lot to know some of the problems in the community and seeing how we can help on the school board level,” said Herbert.

 

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