Brian Miller, the former chairman of the Pima County Republican Party, explains why he is supporting Green Party candidate Dave Croteau in the race for Pima County Sheriff:
The 2012 race for Pima County Sheriff has not garnered the interest it deserves. Elected directly by the people, the Sheriff answers not to the county supervisors, the Governor, nor even the President, but only to citizens of the county. It is the county sheriff who can, often does - and should - require outside (state and federal) agencies to keep him apprised of their official activity within the county. The county sheriff is the citizens’ last line of elected defense from state and federal governments, and he must honor this obligation. Yes, the county sheriff can arrest federal agents.
Incumbent Clarence Dupnik (D), is running “one last time.” His campaign is basically, “you’ve heard my name for 30 years, vote for me again” (so I can step down in a year or so and hand-pick my replacement). Mark Napier (R) is on the red ticket. Mr. Napier’s campaign slogan is “It’s time for a new sheriff.”
Seriously, that’s his campaign slogan.
If any doubt remains as to why so little interest, it will surely disappear if you read Mr. Napier’s platform. More luncheons and improved paper pushing seems to be the major points which in turn argue for the more accurate slogan, “It’s time for a new bureaucrat.”
There are 31,000 more Democrats than Republicans in Pima County. So, if the voters go more or less by party line, Dupnik wins without breaking a sweat. Why is Napier even wasting his time and his donors’ money? Pathetically enough, that’s the way the system works: keep it simplistic: red team vs. blue team.
The differences between Dupnik and Napier are limited to their respective ages and political parties. At the end of the day, will one push paper better than the other? And if there is better paper-pushing among internal offices, does it really matter given the level of property crime in Pima County?
There are 3 fundamental issues that should inform Pima County voters when electing a sheriff.