Sheriff Hopefuls Offer Differing Law Enforcement Philosophieschallenger,

SAN BERNARDINO— The two declared candidates for sheriff in next year’s election faced off October 7 in a forum sponsored by the Safety Employees Benefit Association, the union representing the sheriff’s department’s deputies.

Sheriff Rod Hoops, the incumbent, like his challenger, deputy Mark Averbeck, has never actually faced the voters. Hoops was appointed sheriff by the board of supervisors in January after he was endorsed by former sheriff Gary Penrod, who retired two years into his fourth term as sheriff on February 1.

Thus, Hoops is the flag bearer for the political machine that has controlled the sheriff’s office in San Bernardino County going back to 1954. Penrod, who was first elected in 1994, was endorsed by his predecessor, Dick Williams, who was elected sheriff in 1990 with the endorsement of his predecessor, Floyd Tidwell. Tidwell, who served two terms, was handpicked by Frank Bland, who was first elected in 1954 and was then reelected five times. The same political machine that Bland controlled has now been inherited by Hoops. That machine carries with it tremendous political fund raising capability, such that Hoops already has a several hundred thousand dollar advantage over any challengers in terms of money banked in his campaign war chest.

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Sheriff Candidate Forum

Sheriff Candidate Forum of October 7, 2009 is now available for viewing. Please follow the link below.

This election give the people of our county an opportunity to ELECT their sheriff and break the Good ol’ Boys stranglehold of a half century.

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