Sheriff candidates

Cambria County Sheriff Bob Kolar (left) and Adams Township police Chief Kirk Moss.

The current Adams Township police chief and incumbent Cambria County sheriff will face off for the spot in this spring’s primary election.

Sheriff Bob Kolar has announced he plans to seek re-election.

“Our office is one of the most organized and professional sheriff’s offices in the state – and I want to keep it that way,” he said.

“I want to remain part of that team.”

Kolar, 72, was elected to the position in 1997 and took office in January 1998.

A Bishop Carroll High School graduate, Kolar attended St. Francis College for a year before entering the Marine Corps and spending two years on active duty.

Following his honorable discharge, Kolar joined the Pennsylvania State Police in 1968 and retired with 25 years of service in 1992.

During his time at the Ebensburg barracks, Kolar earned his associate’s degree in criminology from Mount Aloysius College and in 1980, a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

As sheriff, Kolar has served as chairman of the Cambria County Prison Board for the past 15 years, was appointed to the National Sheriff’s Association Domestic Violence Committee for the past 17 years and has been a commissioner on the board of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for the past eight years – the only sheriff and Cambria County representative to the commission.

Kolar is also a member of the Pennsylvania Sheriff’s Association’s Ethics Commission, the Cambria County Drug Task Force and the security committee for the Cambria County Courthouse.

Kolar’s team, in addition to assisting local law enforcement agencies, has assisted Secret Service agents during visits from Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.

During Bush’s visit, Kolar recalls his deputies resolving a heated situation, which resulted in an invitation to the White House during the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI.

Kolar married Lee Ann Kutchman in 1966. They have one son, Bob Jr., and three grandchildren.

Kirk Moss, 57, said he’s running for office for the first time and hopes to bring “a new vision” to the Cambria County Sheriff’s Office.

Moss, a Forest Hills High School and Greater Johnstown Regional Police Academy graduate, has 36 years with Adams Township Police Department, where he has been chief since 2007.

Prior to that, Moss served as a dispatcher and a per-diem sheriff’s deputy for Cambria County.

Moss also is a 40-year member of the Adams Township Volunteer Fire Company, serving as president for the past 28 years.

He has served as chairman of the Forest Hills Regional Authority, a sewer authority consisting of nine municipalities, since 2003.

Moss is a board member with the Cambria County Crime Stoppers, a child death review team member for the Cambria County Coroner’s Office, a 38-year member of the Mainline Police Association and a member of the Cambria County Drug Task Force.

Moss thanked Kolar for his service to the county, but said he believes in term limits at all levels of government and that the time has come for a new vision in the sheriff’s office.

“Our deputies need to be on the front lines working to educate our citizens about the opioid epidemic,” he said. “We must educate our children in the schools about this public health crisis.”

Moss said he thinks bold leadership is needed to bring fiscal responsibility to the sheriff’s office.

“Our county needs a new set of eyes examining the sheriff’s budget,” he said. “I have the energy and experience to cut costs and maintain the standards that are expected by the taxpayers.”

Moss and his wife, Tina, have one son, Robert.

​Jocelyn Brumbaugh is a reporter for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @JBrumbaughTD.

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