The Santa Barbara police union announced it was leaning toward endorsing incumbent Sheriff Jim Anderson at a candidates’ forum last week. Detective Mike McGrew acknowledged Anderson’s clumsiness in dealing with the media and Sheriff’s Council, but said of the four candidates he’s done the most for rank-and-file officers. The Santa Maria police union recently endorsed former sheriff Jim Thomas, and the Lompoc police union endorsed their chief, Bill Brown. But perhaps the most important endorsement in what’s sure to be a bitter political face-off is that of the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, which recently voted not to reelect union president Sgt. Mike Durant – an ardent Anderson supporter. The Santa Barbara union will wait for the DSA endorsement before taking an official stand. Because it’s unlikely any of the four candidates could secure even a simple majority of all 380 voting deputies, union leaders opted to endorse the candidate getting the most votes.

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