Thanks to a $40,000 loan to himself, incumbent County Sheriff Jim Anderson (pictured left) posted a dramatic financial lead over his closest rival – and predecessor – Jim Thomas (pictured right) in the race for the county’s top law enforcement post. Anderson reported collecting $71,062 in what’s been a bruising campaign to hold onto his seat. Thomas reported collecting $40,000; Lompoc Police Chief Bill Brown, $30,000; and Lieutenant Butch Arnoldi, $12,850. But discounting loans renders the differences far less striking: Anderson would have collected $31,000; Thomas, $35,000; Brown, $25,000; and Arnoldi, $2,850. The race between Anderson and Thomas promises to be especially bitter – Thomas accused Anderson of threatening the job security of a junior commander Thomas encouraged to run against Anderson, while Anderson accused Thomas of threatening him when he first considered running for sheriff seven years ago.

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