San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore announced his retirement Wednesday, which is effective on Feb. 3, the Union-Tribune reports. He’s been in the top spot for 12 years and was not running for re-election.
Undersheriff Kelly Martinez, who is running for Gore’s job, told the U-T she would not seek appointment to the interim sheriff position. That decision falls on the County Board of Supervisors, three of whom have already endorsed her for the position in the upcoming election.
If they do pick Martinez as interim sheriff, it wouldn’t be the first time an underling was hoisted into a top law enforcement position shortly before the voters had their say. It happened to Gore and Summer Stephan, the current district attorney, before both were elected.
Martinez is running against Dave Myers, who got the San Diego County Democratic Party endorsement last month. Prominent Democrats tried to box Myers out over the summer by quickly throwing their weight behind Martinez. The two are also running against John Hemmerling, an assistant city attorney for San Diego.
One vote: Nathan Fletcher, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, released a statement saying he will call a special session in March to appoint a replacement and that he would not support appointing anyone who is running for the seat.
“The previous board of supervisors had a habit of appointing their chosen candidate for countywide offices very close to an election. I didn’t think it was right for them and it would not be right for us,” he said in the written statement. Fletcher was one of the prominent Democrats who announced their support for Martinez in the election.
He did note, however, that he’s just one of five votes on the board. The other two Democrats on the Board also support Martinez.