“I’ve always believed in running a positive campaign,” said Eli Rivera, the democratic incumbent candidate for Cheshire County Sheriff.
Rivera was elected in 2012 and has been serving as sheriff in Cheshire County since 2013. “I’ve been involved in law enforcement for 30 years. I’ve been very engaged with the community, also the work, very community oriented and I believe in volunteering and service to others. So I believe in being part of the community that you live in, and being connected with things outside of your work. Whether it’s, you know, school activities, church service, community kitchen or anything like that, that makes our community stronger.”
Rivera retired from Keene Police Department in 2012 after serving 22 years as a lieutenant. “I’ve been in office, this is my eighth year, hoping to continue on. So that kind of gives you an idea of my experience within the community. I serve as a prosecutor. I’ve done undercover work. I’ve done just about every position you can think of within the capability of
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the police department. So kind of helped develop the person that I am today,” said Rivera.
Although Rivera is campaigning for a fifth term as sheriff, he says he does not run on a specific platform. “It’s not an issues-based campaign, because I have my personal views, but they typically don’t apply to what we do here.”
Rivera’s opponent, Republican candidate Aria DiMezzo, criticized Rivera on many things, most notably, stating Rivera was “center-right at best.” Rivera declined to comment directly on his opponent’s campaign.
Rivera has the support of the Cheshire County Democrats. Ann
Heffernon, Secretary of Cheshire County Democrats, said “We think Sheriff Rivera has done an excellent job in Cheshire County. He is actively involved in our community, took a strong and appropriate stance on immigration and treats his staff and the people of the county with care . We have a great deal of respect for how he has served us with honesty and integrity.”
Outside of acting as sheriff, Rivera is on Governor Chris Sununu’s advisory council on diversity and inclusion. “We [the advisory council] are currently participating with the cities on race, equity and community safety… We have conversations from time to time about what’s been going on in the community and how we can try to make it better and how do we address issues that impact somebody’s human rights,” said Rivera.
On November 3, the position of sheriff will be decided by the people of Cheshire County. “I’m committed to this community. I’ve been around a long for quite a long time here. I don’t feel entitled to the position. I serve at the will of the people with honor and dignity and respect,” said Rivera.
Tom Benoit can be contacted at: