The Rainbow Times Releases Key Primary Endorsement for Essex County Sheriff

Essex County SheriffEd O'Reilly, our pick for Essex County Sheriff

From The Editorial Staff

Although The Rainbow Times typically does not endorse for primary elections, there is a race that has particularly stuck out to us: the race for Essex County Sheriff. This candidate has demonstrated through action that he is not only a staunch supporter of the LGBTQ community, but also understands the complexity of the intersections of our very identities pertaining to race and ethnicity, gender disparities, and so on.

For Essex County Sheriff, The Rainbow Times endorses Ed O’Reilly.

The Sheriff is responsible for the management of custody and care of those held in the house of corrections. As a well-known and respected Essex County criminal defense attorney for more than 30 years, and also serving as a corrections officer and firefighter, Ed understands the overall experience of inmates in the criminal justice system through direct exposure. In conversations with The Rainbow Times, countless times, Ed has demonstrated a clear understanding of many issues that arise for those that are LGBTQ and people of color while incarcerated, including the very basis for their incarceration in the first place, at times resulting from and in systemic prejudice.

As The Rainbow Times reported in its November 2015 issue, the grassroots organization, Black and Pink, works to advocate for the rights of LGBTQ prisoners. According to the organization, they are “outraged” by the specific violence of the prison industrial complex against LGBTQ people, and respond through advocacy, education, direct service, and organizing.

Most recently, The Rainbow Times’ July 2016 issue revealed issues pertaining to solitary confinement of incarcerated LGBTQ people and the resulting health and safety concerns arising from such a practice, even if the inmate is in protective custody. “Protective Custody” involves segregating an inmate from the general population if the inmate, or the facility’s staff, has expressed a serious health and/or safety concern,” the report read. “Many LGBTQ inmates request protective custody for fear of being harassed or assaulted because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The length of a stint in protective custody is dependent upon periodic assessments conducted by staff to determine the veracity of the health and/or safety concern.” The source for this story says that he is still recovering from the trauma of being placed there for lengthy periods of time.

We trust Ed O’Reilly to take on these types of issues and more as Essex County Sheriff.

A progressive Democrat, Ed is fair, objective, and empathetic to the needs of marginalized groups and has proven that dedication since the day we met him. First discussing the needs of the LGBTQ community with us at length several months ago, we were impressed with his in-depth understanding of LGBTQ issues. He was also the first and only Essex County Sheriff candidate to reach out to The Rainbow Times directly following the explosion of our newspaper box in Salem, deemed a hate crime by local police. He is the only candidate that has set up his campaign office in “The Point,” a Salem neighborhood whose residents are predominantly Latino or other members of the immigrant community. Ed listens. Ed cares about those who may be different from him. Ed learns from others. Ed is unequivocally our choice. Ed has stood in our corner from the start and we are proud to stand in his today.

To learn more about Ed’s plans to tackle the Opioid crisis, address mental health issues, create action through intervention and prevention, and develop programs to give women equal access to treatment and training programs, visit

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4 Comments on "The Rainbow Times Releases Key Primary Endorsement for Essex County Sheriff"

  1. I am curious to know what the vetting process was for the endorsement. Was it a questionnaire? How do you know that Mike Marks or Kevin Coppinger with their vast experience aren’t the true LGBT champion. Im sure Ed is a great aly but I am curious to hear how u came to that decision. Thank you for all you do for the community.

    • Not sure of Mike Marks, but Kevin Coppinger unabashedly takes donations from correctional groups and other outside interests. When directly questioned about this by Ed OReilly in a debate, he didn’t think it was an issue. We don’t need more greed in our politics.

  2. Jeremy O'Neil | September 3, 2016 at 12:24 am |

    Why do you guys endorse a person who’s has been a defense attorney for 34 years to be a sheriff and enforce the law? It boggles me that you endorse a person whose sole career is based on trying to find a loophole in every law to set their client “free” from incarceration. This guys is exactly what the law enforcement community doesn’t need. He is a politician, oO’Reilly was a Gloucester councilor, a Glouvester school Committe, and a failed US Senator race against John Kerry. He has done nothing for his 34 years as a defense attorney. He is only running for sheriff because he would like a pension and free health insurance for life. He has donated hundred of dollars to Republican candidates throughout the past decade. He is just an average politician that runs for any office he thinks he can get in. Don’t be fooled! O’Reilly is a fake!

  3. Micheal Marks is an opportunist corrupt individual like his crook Boss Cousins with no vision for the inmates.
    What is the most important issue in the sheriff’s race? Michael Marks answered.
    I felt it was important for me as a stepping stone in my career to run for sheriff to make sure the department moves forward with the same type of philosophy as the current corrupt sheriff being the number one focus. My whole experience has been coming up through the ranks. I have the experience and vision to be a great corrupt sheriff.
    more to come

    Unfortunately, in corrections, everything is money driven. Privatization of food and medical services became norm. It’s like snow and ice.
    “The reason for privatization is to make sure the liability for health care falls on the contractor. But, we also have a contract they have to follow. I believe the problem with nursing staff is they are not use to correctional health care. It’s a very, very, difficult place to practice health care. This isn’t a Hospital; these people aren’t always nice. There’s so much turnover and the pay is not close to what they pay in community. In the private sector, if you are a good nurse you can write your own ticket and make what you want to make.

    Marks concluded by saying that the next time their contract comes up, he will not automatically
    renew it, but will put it out for a competitive bid adding, “Let people compete for that contract.”

    Michael Marks Gets all his best traits from Corrupt Frank Cousins.Like:

    Relies on authority
    Issues ultimatums
    Says “I”
    Uses People
    Takes Credit
    Places the blame
    Says “GO”
    My way is the only way

    Those are not traits of someone who is going to Lead Essex County Sheriff Department.
    Those are traits of a Corrupt Boss.

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