San Diego County Sheriff Bill Kolender has announced that he will retire after serving three and a half elected terms and 14 years leading the department.
Kolender's announcement yesterday upsets the race to take his place, because the county supervisors can either appoint a successor or call a special election to fill the post.
Kolender is 73 years old and has been in poor health recently. He retires as the oldest of California's 58 county sheriffs. He began his career in law enforcement as a San Diego police officer in 1956.
Several law enforcement officials are already jockeying for his position, including former FBI special agent in charge William Gore, former sheriff's Lt. James Duffy, former San Diego police Chief David Bejarano, state legislator Jay LeSuer and former sheriff's Sgt. Bruce Ruff.