Six candidates are in the running to replace Santa Cruz County Sheriff Antonio Estrada, who is retiring after seven terms in office.
Four candidates – Keith Barth, Rafael Corrales, David Hathaway and David Ruiz – are running as Democrats, and will be on the ballot for that party’s primary, to be decided on Aug. 4. The winner will advance to face Independent candidates Joe Agosttini and Andrew Ibarra in the general election, to be decided on Nov. 3.
The Nogales International recently interviewed the six candidates via telephone. Candidates were asked to submit a sidebar questionnaire and a photo prior to the interview. Then during the interview itself, they were given one minute to answer each question. The questions were not provided in advance.
Some of their answers have been paraphrased or edited for clarity or space.
“The Sheriff’s Office needs a leader who’s willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with the deputies, to guide and support them," he said.
“What I’ve learned in school and my experience as an administrator of 25 years, those are great assets to bring on as the new sheriff of Santa Cruz County," he said.
“Some sheriffs are always trying to talk about a crisis and about fear. I want to be the opposite. I want to be upbeat and optimistic about our community," he said.
“All I want the community to know is I devoted my career to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office and to our community because I strongly believe in it,” he said.
"I was a deputy for 23 years, I was a sergeant, I was a marshal, I also was a training officer at the academy. I’ve been there and done it," he said.
"Police work has always been public safety, regardless of where you live, regardless of the population, regardless of the gender or where you come from,” he said.