TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's up to voters to decide who has the best chance to keep Pima County safe.
Republican voters in the August 30 Primary will choose between two law enforcement veterans to challenge incumbent Sheriff Chris Nanos. He's working to win his first election to the Sheriff's job. County Supervisors appointed Nanos to fill the term of long time Sheriff Clarence Dupnik when Dupnik retired last year.
Terry Staten and Mark Napier bring different backgrounds to the same goal: leading the roughly 15 hundred deputies of the Pima County Sheriff's Department as they protect a county with more than a million people, and a land mass of more than nine thousand square miles.
Staten has been a Pima County Deputy for 25 years. He's a sergeant. He's served in a wide range of assignments including creation of a special unit to cope with the mentally ill.
The Pima Deputy's Association asked him to run and he thinks his long history with the department makes him a strong choice.
He says, "I know exactly where the functions are and dysfunctions are within the department. I know what commanders are good in what areas and what commanders shouldn't be in certain areas based on their experience and their talents."
Mark Napier says it's time for an outsider, like him.
“We've had internal leadership at the Pima County Sheriff's Department for 40 years. I don't think that's healthy for any organization. Craig: So having someone from outside would be better. Napier: I absolutely believe the problems in the Sheriff's department are in the Sheriff's Department and the solutions to those will not be found in the Sheriff's Department."
Napier spent 25 years with Tucson Police and has the endorsement of the Tucson Police Officers Association.
He rose to Captain overseeing patrols on Tucson's south side. He took a senior position with Glendale Police. Now he oversees parking at U of A. He teaches criminal justice online for Boston University and regards his education as a plus in the race for Sheriff.
Both men say they'll work to raise deputy pay, improve morale and be Sheriffs out of the office and active with deputies and the community.
Now it's up to voters in the Republican Primary to decide which one of them will run against the man who wears the badge now.