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Maricopa County narrows sheriff search to three candidates

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(The Center Square) – The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will be interviewing job candidates on Tuesday morning to fill the position of Maricopa County Sheriff until somebody is elected to the spot.

The three candidates are Jeffrey Kirkham, Patrick Valenzuela Sr., and Russ Skinner. Skinner is the chief deputy sheriff, serving in Former Sheriff Paul Penzone’s role until the vacancy is filled.

Penzone left his role in January after announcing his resignation in October.

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to submit an application for this important position,” Supervisor Jack Sellers, who chairs the board, said in a statement.

“The board is considering these three applicants because of their extensive law enforcement backgrounds and commitment to public safety. During the interview process, the board hopes to learn more about their visions for serving the residents of Maricopa County,” Sellers added.

Since Penzone is a Democrat, someone of that same political party will need to fill that position until the November election.

According to 12 News, Skinner and Kirkham switched from Republican to Democrat in order to qualify for the position, with Valensueza still remaining a registered Democrat.

Although the Board of Supervisors is interviewing the three, who each come from an extensive law enforcement background, a news release explains that applications could “reopen” if they want to find others to interview. The board interviews are in “private executive sessions,” meaning the public will not be able to view them.

Axios reported in January that eight people applied for the interim position.

Penzone was the successor to longtime Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a Republican.

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