Letter to the Editor: Good man, good sheriff; I support Todd Johns

Allow me to get the suspense out of the way right now, I wholeheartedly support Sheriff Todd Johns for Sheriff; I’ll explain why in a moment.

I hesitated publicly weighing in on the Sheriff’s race, not because I’m too timid, but because I didn’t want to derail any positive momentum for Todd Johns. Ya see, elected official, former elected official, all around government official endorsements come with an automatic divisiveness. It’s a crap shoot when a candidate receives this type of support. Now that some local Supervisors have weighed in, one more heavily than another, complete with a mail piece that qualifies for an FPPC violation inquiry (candidate Cline’s failure, not the endorser) I figure, what the heck? I know I can be controversial. I know some people like me, and some hate me. I also know people like and hate others as well, so let’s roll the dice.

Those who know me and are familiar with how seriously I took the job of County Supervisor, understand I don’t tolerate nonsense, especially at a level this Sheriff race has devolved. When Dwight Cline popped into my office several weeks ago, announcing his bid for Sheriff, it was a cordial conversation. Frankly, I didn’t care much at that given moment. I even offered a bit of campaign advice. I’m guessing Mr. Cline left the office thinking he had my full support. He didn’t necessarily have my support, but at that moment, neither did Todd Johns. I. Did. Not. Care. However, one thing stuck in my head, and that was the well-rehearsed rhetoric he shared as his reason for running. I’ve heard it all before.

The campaign was launched. I mildly paid attention, then the true colors came bursting in like a football team crashing through that paper banner held by cheerleaders just before the game begins. These true colors weren’t the Red, White and Blue I grew up supporting, these were the “new” red, white, and blue. A little shadier than I like.

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After I received an 11 p.m. phone call on a Monday evening from Cline, trying desperately to explain how wrong I was by calling him out on his accusation that Sheriff Johns was harassing his supporters (ironically while calling me at 11 p.m. to do the same) I was very candid with him; maybe something he didn’t expect, with no punches pulled. 46 minutes later, we hung up and I flipped the switch from, “I. Do. Not. Care.” to this can’t happen. Holy crap this guy can’t be Sheriff.

I’ve always known Todd Johns as a loyal Sheriff’s Department employee. As Supervisor, I dealt mostly with five key SO employees, not including the Sheriff. Todd was the only one I remember who didn’t make it political. He had a job to do, and he did it. I wasn’t the least bit surprised when the Board of Supervisors chose him over the other two applicants. Either of the other two would have done a fine job, but Todd was more qualified, without exception.

I’ve spoken with Todd many times the last month. I’m continuously amazed, but not surprised at how professional he wants to run his campaign. With dozens of wide-open opportunities to clobber the opposition and his supporters with damaging truth, he pulls back the reins. Todd does not want to win by using the same tactics as his opponent, and he doesn’t need to.

Sheriff Todd Johns is an honest and loyal human being, who takes his job seriously. He holds employees accountable, and some just simply don’t like that. Todd is a good man, a good Sheriff, a man who will defend your family, protect your rights, and help you fix your truck when it breaks down. I see no reason to change the course of our Sheriff’s Department.

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Jon Kennedy

Portola