Campaigns offer jails a new slate

Among the campaigns that may not generate as much interest at the local level are the ones that have been burdened with voter complacency or indifference.
Anyone concerned about parks, potholes, prostitutes and panhandlers in their neighborhood will no doubt focus on who will represent their district on the city council dais.

Parents and citizens who want kids to receive a quality education and where funds are going may spend a little more time perusing over school board hopefuls.
People wanting to make a difference on the state and national levels will undoubtedly follow closely the campaigns of those who are running for everything from state senate to Congress, to the White House.

And while all of those seats, in one form or another, have term limits to keep the electeds mildly humble and hungry there is no denying how much the power of incumbency can all but guarantee job security.

For example, it’s been decades since an incumbent has not been on the ballot running for re-election to the post of San Diego Sheriff.

In addition to running a department that is responsible for patrolling and enforcing laws in the unincorporated areas of the county, the Sheriff is also responsible for the health and well being of the deputies and the residents of the county’s jails—our neighbors, friends and relatives.

Yet, San Diego has one of the highest inmate mortality rates in the state. At close to 150 in the last 10 years, a good number of them attributed to natural causes—which may have been prevented with appropriate medical treatment—the death toll in local jails has drawn intense scrutiny to the department, which may be one reason why the septuagenarian Bill Gore decided not to run for re-election this year.

The door is now open for one of seven candidates to lead, and hopefully change for the better, once they get through the June primary and the November final.
San Diego county voters ought to pay close attention to who they want running their jails and enforcing the law.

Spending time in a local jail should not be a death sentence.