This post originally appeared in the February 9 morning report. Subscribe here for free.
The San Diego County Republican Party has endorsed John Hemmerling’s campaign for county sheriff. We noted that it could happen in our political report on Saturday, but now it’s official.
Hemmerling, a former Marine who heads the criminal division of the San Diego city attorney’s office, told us during a debate last year that he quit the Republican Party and became a voter without party preference. His two rivals for sheriff, Dave Myers and Kelly Martinez, had also left the GOP but both joined the Democratic Party (Martinez last year).
Hemmerling had made it clear that this was not just a technical detail of his entry, but a proactive decision he made. This led us to run with the title that there definitely wouldn’t be a Republican sheriff and how rather interesting that is. He did not want to explain why he left the party.
“This decision is also personal to me. And, as Kelly (Martinez) said, I believe the sheriff should be apolitical, non-partisan and impartially enforce the law in the county,” he said at the time.
On Tuesday, however, his campaign sent out the announcement of Republican Party support.
“Whether as combat marine, tough street cop or chief prosecutor, Republican John Hemmerling will be a tough, law-and-order sheriff that voters can trust and be proud of.” , said Paula Whitsell, president of the local Republican party. , in a written statement sent by Hemmerling.
Speaking of the sheriff… County supervisors on Tuesday approved a plan to hire an acting sheriff following the longtime retirement of Sheriff Bill Gore.
Times of San Diego reports that the county will be accepting nominations over the next month from candidates who can serve through next January after voters select a permanent sheriff — and that applicants to this gig will not be eligible for the temporary position.
Supervisors expect to choose five finalists in a public hearing on March 15 and choose the acting sheriff in a meeting on March 22. Applicants will be invited to make presentations at both meetings.