5-way race to challenge Sheriff Dupnik
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Clarence Dupnik has been Pima County Sheriff for more than 30 years.
A large group of Republican challengers want this year to be his last. First they have to let the August 28th primary decide who will their candidate will be.
There's a big field of Republicans competing to challenge Clarence Dupnik for the sheriff's job: Terry Frederick, Vinson Holck, Chester Manning, Mark Napier, and Walt Setzer.
All of them cite their law enforcement experience as Deputies, Police, or U.S. Marshals, and they all claim Clarence Dupnik has become a hands-off sheriff, who lets three top assistants really run the department.
Terry Frederick is the only former Pima deputy in the race. He wants to cut top commanders from three to one, use the savings to hire more deputies, and require all commanders to spend eight hours a week on the street.
Frederick says, "I plan on forming a multi jurisdictional task force to patrol the border and the isolated rural areas of Pima County looking for drug smuggling, human smuggling and any contraband going out of the country as well."
Frederick says he would devote more deputies to border work and work to combine their efforts with state, and tribal agencies.
Mark Napier points to deep experience in law enforcement management as a Tucson Police captain, and as a senior manager with Glendale P-D.
Like all of the candidates, Napier sees Clarence Dupnik as too much of a hands-off Sheriff who lets three top managers really run the department.
Napier says, "I think it's time for a visible, dynamic, energetic and engaged sheriff in Pima County. We haven't had that for a very long time. I would like to exercise more fiscal leadership to make sure the tax dollars of the pima County population is being spent in a wise manner. I'd like to exercise more crime control leadership to make sure the deputies are using the most modern, most aggressive crime control techniques."
Walt Setzer is a retired Deputy U.S. Marshal. He says marshals handle a lot of the duties of a sheriff, including jail management and court security.
Setzer says, "We don't have the management, the deputies aren't being directed. I've got some programs I want to institute. One is called the Community Oriented Policing. It actually gets the deputies involved with the community, the businesses and they work together, first to identify problems and then to come up with solutions."
Vinson Holck says a combination of 20 years with TPD and 36 years in the Air National Guard gives him a broad perspective on police work and leadership. He says he is troubled by Dupnik's resistance to enforcing Arizona's SB1070 immigration law.
"The primary thing he has said that it will cause racial profiling. That is very misleading. It is inaccurate. That statement he made, he cannot back up with facts. In fact, it just shows me the lack of confidence he has in his deputies who are enforcing the laws daily."
Chester Manning says Dupnik's stand on 1070 made him want to run, so did Dupnik's comments the night of the January 8th mass shooting.
That night Dupnik told a news conference, "The bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately, Arizona, I think has become sort of the capital."
Three of the five candidates: Holck, Walt Setzer, and Chester Manning say those comments are part of why they want to unseat Clarence Dupnik.
Dupnik's comments seem to be fueling what's become the busiest local primary. Dupnik's always had easy wins in the general election but those comments really stirred up conservatives and made them see Dupnik as vulnerable.
Manning says, "He had a perfect opportunity to bring our community together on January 8th but instead, he chose to tear it apart for political reasons."
Chester Manning and the other candidates say they also want to take a hard look at the department budget to be sure the money's spent wisely.