With the recent announcement that the Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association is backing Bruce Porter for 3rd District Supervisor and Jennifer Christensen for 1st District Supervisor, I thought it would be appropriate to add my two cents’ worth. Having the backing of the men and women who protect us every day is a powerful message. The Deputy Sheriffs’ Association is a local association, not a local chapter of a national union like the SEIU. These men and women live and work in our community and dedicate themselves to doing what most people would not do — putting their lives on the line so we can live in a peaceful community. Bruce Porter shared that experience in his role of an Army officer who saw his share of combat and experienced the pride of leading men and women in peace and in war. Jennifer Christensen has led in a different but important way in being a steward of our county’s funding.

I have lived in the 3rd District for 43 years. I was privileged to work in and lead the Sheriff’s Department for 30 years and was the County Fire Chief for three of those years. I know public safety. I have publicly supported both Republican and Democratic supervisorial candidates. My sole basis for support was that they commit to ensuring that Santa Barbara County kept public safety as its first priority. Bruce Porter and Jennifer Christensen made that commitment from day one.

I used to remind supervisors that when counties and cities were formed, the citizens’ first priority was to hire and elect their law enforcement leaders and insure that their jurisdictions were financially secure. You can do the same in this important election. Please support Bruce Porter for 3rd District and Jennifer Christensen for 1st District Supervisor. Our personal safety and financial well-being may well count on it.

Jim Thomas served as Santa Barbara County’s sheriff from 1990-2002.


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