The crowded race for Sonoma County Sheriff comes to Sonoma on September 18 with a town hall meeting hosted by Sheriff’s Captain Mark Essick, one of six candidates gearing up for the primary in June of 2018.
Essick said he is starting his campaign in the same way he intends to lead the agency – by listening to the community during a series of seven meetings throughout the County.
“Getting out and actually listening to the people we serve will be the hallmark of the Sheriff’s office under my watch,” Essick said. “It’s a point I’ll drive home during this campaign.”
A 23-year veteran of the force, Essick seeks to replace Steve Freitas, who stepped down from the post on August 1. The Board of Supervisors picked Assistant Sheriff Rob Giordano to serve out the remainder of Freitas’ term.
Giordano may also join the fray – the deadline to file candidacy isn’t for another six months.
The race doesn’t officially get started until then, but the jockeying for endorsements and support is well underway in what will be the most contested run for Sheriff in memory.
Essick has the endorsement of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association. He also counts former Sheriff Bill Cogbill, and Sonoma Police Chief Brett Sackett, among his supporters.
The other announced candidates are: Carlos Basurto, the Windsor police chief; Santa Rosa City Councilman Ernesto Olivares, who retired as a lieutenant from the Santa Rosa Police Department in 2008; John Mutz, a former LAPD commander; and Jay Foxworthy, a San Francisco sheriff’s deputy.
The Sheriff oversees an office of about 650 employees and a $180 million budget.
The town hall will be held at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building, 126 First St. W., from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.