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Sheriff Bill Kolender has thrown the race for his successor into a tizzy by deciding to resign on July 2, giving his support as expected to Undersheriff Bill Gore, an ex–FBI agent who enjoys the backing of San Diego’s big-money insiders. Word on the street has it that the Gore succession plan was hatched well before Kolender’s 2006 reelection; among his incentives to leave office were promises of well-paying corporate board seats. The 73-year-old sheriff confirmed the possibility of the board appointments during an interview with the Union-Tribune last week but didn’t say who was interested in his services.

Suspicions grew even further when the U-T, in the last throes of ownership by David Copley’s Copley Press, editorialized that the county board of supervisors should swiftly appoint a replacement and “let the political cards play out as they may.” Though the U-T didn’t mention its preferred candidate, those were seen as code words of support for Gore, who hopes to run for the job next year as the incumbent, giving him a virtually insurmountable advantage over a field that includes ex–GOP assemblyman and former undersheriff Jay La Suer; sheriff’s lieutenant Jim Duffy (now on leave to work for Supervisor Ron Roberts); ex–San Diego chief of police David Bejarano; and retired deputy sheriff Bruce Ruff, a perennial candidate for the job.

Gore has been busy raising money from the usual bunch of downtown kingmakers, including Mission Valley hotelier C. Terry Brown; port commissioner Stephen Cushman; his brother Larry Cushman; ex–city schools chief and airport board chairman Alan Bersin; Bersin crony William D. Lynch of Rancho Santa Fe; real estate mogul Malin Burnham; Cloud 9 president John Hawkins; and onetime Pepsi bottler Frank Alessio. … Speaking of campaign cash, Chula Vista mayor Cheryl Cox, along with councilmembers Pamela Bensoussan and Rudy Ramirez, is throwing a no-limit “Fundraising Cocktail Reception” on April 23 for Proposition A, the May ballot measure that would boost the city’s sales tax 1 percent for ten years, to 9.75 percent. The party is being held in the downtown San Diego offices of Gafcon, Inc., a construction firm that has been a big player in Chula Vista redevelopment projects, subsidized by taxpayers.

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Comments

JOEBAGO April 26, 2009 @ 5:07 p.m.

That perennial candidate, Bruce Ruff won over 131,000 (just over 30%) votes last race against Kolender and his numbers are climbing. The media fears revealing this fact and if you do the numbers short of Bill Gore being a "proxy" incumbent then if Ruff should gain just a small percentage he will certainly be in the run off. (The other candidates are going to split up the remaining votes - 70% chopped up). The other consideration is that this is a nonpartisan race, and the way the voter registration is divided, Ruff is the most likely to be friendly to the center and left. Gore is especially loathed by the left and may cast votes to someone else just to guarantee he doesn't get it. You guys are not really very good at this analysis stuff are you?

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SurfPuppy619 April 28, 2009 @ 12:28 p.m.

We should nominate Mike Carona to become SD Sheriff.

He is unemployed right now and could use the work.

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DocHolliday May 22, 2009 @ 7:35 p.m.

Jay La Suer, former undersheriff of SD County and ex-Assemblyman, is the only candidate in this race with the brains and experience to run the Sheriffs Dept, and he is the frontrunner against William Gore.

.

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Ponzi May 23, 2009 @ 7:16 a.m.

Jay La Suer has another agenda too. He is a right wing conservative Christian fanatic.

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