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Incumbent Bill Gore Keeps His Seat As San Diego County Sheriff

San Diego County Sheriff's Commander Dave Myers (left) and San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore are seen here in these undated campaign photos.
Dave Myers and Bill Gore campaigns
San Diego County Sheriff's Commander Dave Myers (left) and San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore are seen here in these undated campaign photos.

UPDATE: 7:15 a.m., June 6, 2018:

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has likely kept his seat. With all precincts reporting, he has 56 percent of the vote, trailed by Dave Myers at 43 percent.

If any candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, he wins the race outright.


UPDATE: 8:45 p.m., June 5, 2018:

Sheriff Bill Gore has taken an early lead in his bid to remain sheriff of San Diego County.

With 15 percent of precincts reporting, Gore leads with 57 percent. His challenger, Dave Myers trails with 42 percent.

Original post:

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has been in office for eight years, and this year he faces a challenge from within his own department.


Who is running?

Thirty-three-year veteran of the department Dave Myers is running to unseat his boss. While Gore is a Republican and Myers a Democrat, Myers was a Republican until August 2016, when he changed his party.

Because there are only two candidates in the race, whoever gets the most votes on Tuesday will win outright and not have to run in the general election in November. Whoever wins will sit at the helm of the county jails and courts, and run the department that acts as the police for many of the county's cities and unincorporated areas.

RELATED: Trust In Law Enforcement Key To San Diego County Sheriff’s Race

Who is supporting whom?

Gore has received more than $350,000 in contributions before the June election, with almost $40,000 carried over from his 2014 race and $40,000 coming from the San Diego County Republican Party.

He has received endorsements from law enforcement unions, the San Diego Deputy District Attorneys Association, the San Diego Regional Chamber, California Restaurant Association and the Lincoln Club of San Diego.

Myers has raised more than $210,000 in contributions and has endorsements from Equality California, Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest, the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, the San Diego County Democratic Party and San Diego County Gun Owners.

What are the issues?

There are few stark differences in the positions between the two men. In response to a KPBS questionnaire, both said the Citizens' Law Enforcement Review Board should be required to investigate every in-custody death, both support allowing retail cannabis sales in San Diego County and both support measures to stop the criminalization of homelessness.

One apparent difference between Myers and Gore lies in their approach to the office itself, and what role the sheriff should play in shaping public policy.

As the County Board of Supervisors was considering whether to support the Trump administration's lawsuit against California over its "sanctuary state" laws, Gore was quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune as saying: "I don't want to be in the position of telling the board what they should or shouldn't do."

Gore took a similar hands-off approach when the board voted last year to ban all sales of medical and recreational cannabis in the unincorporated county. The sheriff's department is now struggling to enforce that ban.

Myers said while the sheriff does not create policy, he has an obligation to inform the discussion with data.

"I see my role as the elected sheriff to advise the policymakers on the facts," Myers said. "I don't think they received an honest evaluation of what it truly means for law enforcement to sit at the table with the industry and create safe access (to cannabis). To me, and based on my experience of 33 years in law enforcement, that is how we create less crime."

RELATED: Dave Myers Discusses His Run For San Diego County Sheriff

RELATED: Sheriff Gore Defends Response To Jail Suicides, Deputy Sexual Harassment Claims

The 2024 primary election is March 5. Find in-depth reporting on each race to help you understand what's on your ballot.